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Dark Tranquillity | Exposures In Retrospect and Denial | review | metal | Lollipop

Dark Tranquillity

Exposures: In Retrospect and Denial (Century Media)
by Martin Popoff

Hailing hell of a comp here, Exposures… celebrates only the very old and the very new from one of Swedish progressive death's top acts. And what a contrast it is. The material from a '92 EP and a '91 demo sounding like a rudimentary death metal band trying to sound all tricky and fast (makes me pine for old Black Mark bands), with the new stuff being darkly, thickly melodic, but anthemic and blood-washingly groovy at the same time. The modern day Dark Tranquillity is represented here on two fronts. The front half of disc one offers a wealth of solid, finished songs from '98 to '02 that didn't make the great albums of those years. And it's funny; some don't grab that hard, while some just sound too similar to Haven or Projector or Damage Done tracks, like they were forced off by other songs and sequencing issues rather than their own inferiority. In total, though, they may be a tad underwhelming, but only taken as a whole, against, say, seven Damage Done tracks. The second disc is the massive live show from the band's DVD in CD form, and man, what can I say? These are many of the greatest metal songs of the last five years, albeit delivered better in some ways and worse in others compared to the studio versions, and only with slight sonic divergence. Bonus to the celebration is a booklet stuffed with liner notes, photos, and lyrics to the new tracks.

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