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Dark Tranquillity: Exposures: In Retrospect and Denial

Can't really understand the hype surrounding this outfit. Although there are some sweet and refined guitar harmonies and a few cool verses and the odd cool chorus, much of Dark Tranquility's music sounds brittle and wan––so thin at times that you have to wonder if you're listening to tracks such as "Misery In Me" (fans of Evergrey who've not yet discovered Dark Tranquility will lap this tune up like a kitten going after milk) in an airplane. And while some might argue that Mikeael Stanne's rough and gruff vocals work wonders amid the atmosphere beneath, they often sound out of place, as though he recorded them without an understanding of what was going on around him. (To be fair, these are tracks that didn't make some of the band's most highly-regarded albums but, frankly, some of the material still sounds better than many would-be A-sides from other bands.)

Maybe the problem is that the band, having had such dark origins (as you can hear on early cuts such as "Yesterworld," which kicks much booty when compared to later material) just couldn't commit to having vocals that wholeheartedly met with the melodicism promised in tracks such as "Cornered," which features heavy alt-rock guitars that would make Bob Mould proud.

(While some of the early material ("Void Of Tranquility") comes off as a little too heavy-handed at times, it's still superior in atmosphere to material that appeared on 2002's much-loved Damage Done platter. )

Disc two of this set features material taken from the band's equally-lauded DVD Live Damage, which provides more of the same. If you're already a convert to the ways of Dark Tranquility, this set is for you. If you're new, you'd probably best find something else to take in. A great deal for hardcore fans though and well-packaged and thought-out for a retrospective, though. If I were Cocoa Puffs crazy for Dark Tranquility, I'd be in life-threatening ecstasy. (Add one star to this review if you're already deep into DT.)

Track Listing:
Disc One
1.Static (4:40)
2. The Poison Well (4:07)
3. Misery In Me (4:11)
4. In Sight (4:39
5. Cornered (3:59)
6. Exposure (4:40)
7. No One (3:52)
8. Yesterworld (7:28)
9. Unfurled By Dawn (7:30)
10. Midwinter/Beyond Enlightenment (5:42)
11. Vernal Awakening (5: 21)
12. Void Of Tranquility (7:26)
Total Time: 60:00

Disc Two
1. The Wonders At Your Feet (3:52)
2. The Treason Wall (3:34)
3. Hedon (4:39)
4. White Noise/Black Silence (4:13)
5. Haven (4:01)
6. Punish My Heaven (4:59)
7. Monochromatic Stains (3:43)
8. Indifferent Suns (3:40)
9. Format C: For Cortex (4:31)
10. Insanity's Crescendo (5:15)
11. Hours Passed In Exile (4:57)
12. The Sun Fired Blanks (4:33)
13. Damage Done (3:23)
14. Lethe (3:59)
15. Not Built To Last (3:48)
16. Therein (5:33)
17. Zodijackyl Light (3:59)
18. Final Resistance (3:07)
19. Ex Nihilo (2:05)
Total Time: 79:10

Added: July 30th 2004
Reviewer: Jedd Beaudoin
Related Link: More Information
Hits: 2203
Language: english

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