Dark Tranquillity was probably at one point the best band in the so-called NWOSHM, a really ugly and clunky acronym for New Wave Of Swedish Heavy Metal, itself a play on the New Wave Of British Heavy Metal from about 20 years before its peak. At one point, this was the freshest and most original sound in metal, and Dark Tranquillity ate up every drop of it and owned the scene for some time. This whole sound, in my opinion, took a nosedive as American hardcore bands picked up on it, for whatever reason, and proceeded to rape it and leave it for dead in a gutter, giving birth to every shitty fuckwad metalcore band in 2012. Yes, if you played in a metalcore band in 1999, I'm directly blaming you for Attack Attack. Fuck you and die.

I got to see DT on what I believe was their first US tour, and they were otherworldly. At the time, Damage Done had just come out, and though it was different, everyone I knew assumed that meant nothing, as every record of their to that point was different. What we didn't like would change by the next record, and everything else would continue rolling along. Unfortunately I was wrong at the time.

Ten years have passed since that record, and as brutal as it was, Dark Tranquillity, from the sounds of this record, and what I can remember from "Fiction", have stagnated to the point of sounding about as non threatening and trite as can be. The same formula seems to be here as before: moderate pace, keyboard domination, bad pseudo-metalcore riffs, all of them are all over this record. What happened to "The Gallery"? I hate to be the hipster who clings to the old music, but I don't think I got anything out of this I couldn't have gotten from their past decade of output. I'm hard pressed to pick out any real highlights.

This is an EP, though, and maybe it's just a contract filler or stop gap before a really ballsy new record. But if it's supposed to be any sign of the future, we're in for more of the same as always.