“Bend it to our will / Dream it into form / Shape it in our image…”
The lines to the chorus of “The Science of Noise” establish the central theme of “Construct,” with even just the title itself revealing it: “Science” pertaining to order and logic; “noise” implying chaos and calamity.
From the standpoint of the album cover, which depicts a shrunken, alien-like Frankenstein’s monster, the artist can be seen as displaying an imperfect creation. Someone has clearly “constructed” this beast, but in a haphazard way; it looks as if the creator just cut and pasted random bits of completely different bone, flesh, and machine to form its unwieldy body. Even though it’s a sentient being, it is a chaotic, noisy figure indeed. It’s a dramatic shift from the spare artwork of Dark Tranquillity’s past few records.
“It twists and turns / Into something that is not to be…”
1. For Broken Words
2. The Science of Noise
4. The Silence In Between
6. What Only You Know
7. Endtime Hearts
8. State of Trust
9. Weight of the End
10. None Becoming
12. Photon Dreams
From a musical standpoint, Dark Tranquillity has never been the fastest or heaviest band, but they have always been one of the most versatile, and that versatility to their creative process as a unit is the attribute most emphasized on this 2013 release.
Simply from the first five songs on “Construct,” the fan appreciates the rich textures and approaches Dark Tranquillity took: the melancholy introductory storm “For Broken Words,” the stripped-down guitar focus of “The Science of Noise,” “Uniformity”‘s surprising major-key chorus; “The Silence In Between,” the piano-driven single; and the rapid-fire thrash of “Apathetic.”
By the time the clean singing of “What Only You Know” comes in, any expectations of dry repetition or recycling on the band’s part is laid to rest.
Summer 2013 saw some of the worst rioting in Sweden in many years, and against this backdrop “Construct” can perhaps be seen as an expose of our limitations, not only as human beings but also as a society. Why do we believe what we believe, hate what we hate?
The overall somber, searching mood of the album is best captured in the gloomy echo of “State of Trust” and in the opening moments of “Immemorial,” truly one of Dark Tranquillity’s greatest arrangements in a 20-year-plus career. Although vocalist Mr. Stanne has compared “Construct” to resemble 1999’s “Projector” record, this release from a maturing Dark Tranquillity has an even more expansive take on our “human constructs.”
The figure on the cover may seem repulsive, but there is great beauty in this “Construct.”
Written by Matt P