Bandcamp music player

Rating:
8.0
Dark Tranquillity - Haven
25 July 2000


01. The Wonders At Your Feet
02. Not Built To Last
03. Indifferent Suns
04. Feast Of Burden
05. Haven
06. The Same
07. Fabric
08. Ego Drama
09. Rundown
10. Emptier Still
11. At Loss For Words
12. In Sight [bonus]
13. Misery In Me [bonus]
14. Cornered [bonus]
15. The Wonders At Your Feet [live] [bonus]
+ ThereIn [video] [digipak bonus]


So there I was, minding my own business, casually strolling around Metal Storm like I always do, when suddenly the brakes came to a screeching halt. I let out a gasp of disbelief as my eyes were transfixed on the word Haven. "Is this really possible?", I thought out loud, "No review for an album of one of my most favourite bands ever? Such insolence cannot remain unpunished!" (a bit melodramatic on my part, but please, do read on…), and hence this review saw the light of day, to "complete the circle" of sorts….

Before going any further, let me take you back to Projector. With that album, Dark Tranquillity set sail towards uncharted territories, possibly alienating a section of fans who just could not bring themselves to embrace the newfound sound. If you're one of those fans, leave this one immediately because Haven is even more experimental and eccentric. If Projector was a turning point for DT, Haven is a turning point within a turning point, if that makes any sense….

Haven, as I mentioned before, is a highly experimental album. The aggression that defines Dark Tranquillity has been significantly watered down, replaced by a colder, more melodic approach to music. In the world of Haven, the keyboards take centre-stage, sharing the spotlight with Mikael Stanne's amazing vocals, while being aptly supported by the rest of the instruments. That does not mean they're pursuing a completely different musical direction (Theatre Of Tragedy being an example); on the contrary, Dark Tranquillity retains its core essence while remodeling around it, without abandoning their roots altogether, and that's really commendable.

Probably the biggest downside of Haven is its lack of bite. None of the songs have that "wow" factor to it; I like them all, but don't love them. Performance-wise, this is not one of their most convincing ones, as evident in the lethargic pacing of the album, meandering around in the mid-paced zone far too often (more variation to the speed would have done wonders for this album). Now, I am aware that aggression doesn't guarantee good music, but this one is just too restrained for my liking.

In spite of all the room for skepticism, this is one good album. The newer, more keyboard-dominant melodies are strongly evident in songs like "The Wonders At Your Feet", possibly the strongest track in the album. The songs are not too similar to each other, each possessing a unique identity, and so this album cannot possibly be labeled as generic. It is produced excellently, and there is perfect harmony among all the instruments, none given emphasis over the other. All in all, Haven can be considered as the perfect "introduction" to Dark Tranquillity, or even metal in general.

Haven marks an important stage in the metamorphosis of Dark Tranquillity; the tough yet deceptive, cocoon-like exterior revealing a fragile yet beautiful interior which should be handled as gingerly as glass, or risk seeing it shatter into a thousand pieces. If you want to enjoy Haven, forget about all of their past and future endeavours, and start afresh. Only then can you do it (and yourself) justice.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 8
Originality: 8
Production: 9


Band profile: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Haven


 


written by MechanisT | 25.12.2010


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

‹‹ Back to the Reviews
Comments: 18  
Users visited: 129  
Search this topic:  


BloodTears - 25.12.2010 at 12:06  
Interesting review.

Curiously enough, Haven and The Mind's I are my least favourite DT albums. Maybe that explains why there wasn't a review for it yet, most people don't seem to like it somehow

Haven and TMI are similar albums to me in the sense that they are not consistently good throughout. I can find in both of these albums really good songs, some of them became classic DT tunes, but other songs are forgettable. I even prefer TMI to Haven because I think there's more quality there, at least that's what I think.

This explains why Haven is the only DT album I haven't bought yet, but I'm sure I will at some point.
MechanisT - 25.12.2010 at 12:09  
Written by BloodTears on 25.12.2010 at 12:06

Interesting review.

Curiously enough, Haven and The Mind's I are my least favourite DT albums. Maybe that explains why there wasn't a review for it yet, most people don't seem to like it somehow

Haven and TMI are similar albums to me in the sense that they are not consistently good throughout. I can find in both of these albums really good songs, some of them became classic DT tunes, but other songs are forgettable. I even prefer TMI to Haven because I think there's more quality there, at least that's what I think.

This explains why Haven is the only DT album I haven't bought yet, but I'm sure I will at some point.


Yeah, I guess you should do that, coz in my opinion "Haven" is better than "The Mind's I" and "Skydancer" by some distance; even if it's not that edgy, it's still a respectable album on every front.
Aetherius - 28.12.2010 at 13:57  
Now im curious about this album, I havnt checked it out yet
MechanisT - 28.12.2010 at 14:11  
Written by Aetherius on 28.12.2010 at 13:57

Now im curious about this album, I havnt checked it out yet


Yes, please DO check it out. It's really good. Just don't have any prior expectations related to their other releases, and I'm sure you'll like it
Danny Thomas - 25.01.2011 at 07:03  
I actually feel haven is a deep album. i didnt even appreciate it at first. i thought it bland compared to the others i had at the time. but after since collecting the entire discography, and going back and listening to it again and again, it holds a certain power. i have 1 rule when it comes to dark tranquillity: i will only listen to them at night. each album has tis own feel, and tells its own story to me. And haven grew on me more and more as time went on. so i disagree that its a good introduction to the band, i would suggest you go back and listen to this one after you are already a fan and have listened to the other albums.
MechanisT - 25.01.2011 at 11:55  
Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 07:03

I actually feel haven is a deep album. i didnt even appreciate it at first. i thought it bland compared to the others i had at the time. but after since collecting the entire discography, and going back and listening to it again and again, it holds a certain power. i have 1 rule when it comes to dark tranquillity: i will only listen to them at night. each album has tis own feel, and tells its own story to me. And haven grew on me more and more as time went on. so i disagree that its a good introduction to the band, i would suggest you go back and listen to this one after you are already a fan and have listened to the other albums.


Check my favourite bands list, DT is at the top. What made you say that I haven't listened to their other albums? To say that I need to be a fan to fully grasp this album is pretty illogical to say the least, and only until I've got a rock-solid impression on an album do I dare to write a review. I feel that Haven is by far the most accessible album they've ever made, and so I stand by my opinion that Haven is an excellent introduction to Dark Tranquillity.
Danny Thomas - 25.01.2011 at 22:49  
Written by MechanisT on 25.01.2011 at 11:55

Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 07:03

I actually feel haven is a deep album. i didnt even appreciate it at first. i thought it bland compared to the others i had at the time. but after since collecting the entire discography, and going back and listening to it again and again, it holds a certain power. i have 1 rule when it comes to dark tranquillity: i will only listen to them at night. each album has tis own feel, and tells its own story to me. And haven grew on me more and more as time went on. so i disagree that its a good introduction to the band, i would suggest you go back and listen to this one after you are already a fan and have listened to the other albums.


Check my favourite bands list, DT is at the top. What made you say that I haven't listened to their other albums? To say that I need to be a fan to fully grasp this album is pretty illogical to say the least, and only until I've got a rock-solid impression on an album do I dare to write a review. I feel that Haven is by far the most accessible album they've ever made, and so I stand by my opinion that Haven is an excellent introduction to Dark Tranquillity.


no no i didn't say you haven't listened to all their albums. what i thought i typed at least was that if you(not you specifically, but a person in general) have listened to all of their albums, it allows you to appreciate haven more imo. so what i was implying was i became a bigger fan of this album after i had listened to their whole discography thoroughly. my bad for the misunderstanding, i wasnt talking about you . and i agree with you as an album on its own it is very good, but after i became a huge fan of the band and went back and listened to it a year later, i had a greater appreciation for it, which was the point i was trying to get across. sorry for the misunderstanding
MechanisT - 25.01.2011 at 22:57  
Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 22:49

Written by MechanisT on 25.01.2011 at 11:55

Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 07:03

I actually feel haven is a deep album. i didnt even appreciate it at first. i thought it bland compared to the others i had at the time. but after since collecting the entire discography, and going back and listening to it again and again, it holds a certain power. i have 1 rule when it comes to dark tranquillity: i will only listen to them at night. each album has tis own feel, and tells its own story to me. And haven grew on me more and more as time went on. so i disagree that its a good introduction to the band, i would suggest you go back and listen to this one after you are already a fan and have listened to the other albums.


Check my favourite bands list, DT is at the top. What made you say that I haven't listened to their other albums? To say that I need to be a fan to fully grasp this album is pretty illogical to say the least, and only until I've got a rock-solid impression on an album do I dare to write a review. I feel that Haven is by far the most accessible album they've ever made, and so I stand by my opinion that Haven is an excellent introduction to Dark Tranquillity.


no no i didn't say you haven't listened to all their albums. what i thought i typed at least was that if you(not you specifically, but a person in general) have listened to all of their albums, it allows you to appreciate haven more imo. so what i was implying was i became a bigger fan of this album after i had listened to their whole discography thoroughly. my bad for the misunderstanding, i wasnt talking about you . and i agree with you as an album on its own it is very good, but after i became a huge fan of the band and went back and listened to it a year later, i had a greater appreciation for it, which was the point i was trying to get across. sorry for the misunderstanding


Hey, no worries man.
Well, we can both agree on one thing: Haven is definitely a very good release and deserves more than it gets. I apologize if I came across a little aggressive.
Darkside Momo - 25.01.2011 at 23:08  
Nice review!
I just want to say that, imo, some few songs do stand out, "Not Built To Last" in particular.

Written by BloodTears on 25.12.2010 at 12:06

Interesting review.

Curiously enough, Haven and The Mind's I are my least favourite DT albums. Maybe that explains why there wasn't a review for it yet, most people don't seem to like it somehow

Haven and TMI are similar albums to me in the sense that they are not consistently good throughout. I can find in both of these albums really good songs, some of them became classic DT tunes, but other songs are forgettable. I even prefer TMI to Haven because I think there's more quality there, at least that's what I think.

I agree that these two are their weakest, but as I discovered DT with this album when it was released, I still prefer it to TMI (even if, sure "Hedon" and "Insanity's Crescendo" are awesome)
Danny Thomas - 25.01.2011 at 23:22  
Written by MechanisT on 25.01.2011 at 22:57

Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 22:49

Written by MechanisT on 25.01.2011 at 11:55

Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 07:03

I actually feel haven is a deep album. i didnt even appreciate it at first. i thought it bland compared to the others i had at the time. but after since collecting the entire discography, and going back and listening to it again and again, it holds a certain power. i have 1 rule when it comes to dark tranquillity: i will only listen to them at night. each album has tis own feel, and tells its own story to me. And haven grew on me more and more as time went on. so i disagree that its a good introduction to the band, i would suggest you go back and listen to this one after you are already a fan and have listened to the other albums.


Check my favourite bands list, DT is at the top. What made you say that I haven't listened to their other albums? To say that I need to be a fan to fully grasp this album is pretty illogical to say the least, and only until I've got a rock-solid impression on an album do I dare to write a review. I feel that Haven is by far the most accessible album they've ever made, and so I stand by my opinion that Haven is an excellent introduction to Dark Tranquillity.


no no i didn't say you haven't listened to all their albums. what i thought i typed at least was that if you(not you specifically, but a person in general) have listened to all of their albums, it allows you to appreciate haven more imo. so what i was implying was i became a bigger fan of this album after i had listened to their whole discography thoroughly. my bad for the misunderstanding, i wasnt talking about you . and i agree with you as an album on its own it is very good, but after i became a huge fan of the band and went back and listened to it a year later, i had a greater appreciation for it, which was the point i was trying to get across. sorry for the misunderstanding


Hey, no worries man.
Well, we can both agree on one thing: Haven is definitely a very good release and deserves more than it gets. I apologize if I came across a little aggressive.


oh it does, i actually went back and listen to the whole album last night after reading your review, and enjoyed it a lot. how would you rank their albums in order of your favorite to least favorite. i think character is actually my personal favorite.
MechanisT - 26.01.2011 at 09:45  
Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 23:22

Written by MechanisT on 25.01.2011 at 22:57

Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 22:49

Written by MechanisT on 25.01.2011 at 11:55

Written by Danny Thomas on 25.01.2011 at 07:03

I actually feel haven is a deep album. i didnt even appreciate it at first. i thought it bland compared to the others i had at the time. but after since collecting the entire discography, and going back and listening to it again and again, it holds a certain power. i have 1 rule when it comes to dark tranquillity: i will only listen to them at night. each album has tis own feel, and tells its own story to me. And haven grew on me more and more as time went on. so i disagree that its a good introduction to the band, i would suggest you go back and listen to this one after you are already a fan and have listened to the other albums.


Check my favourite bands list, DT is at the top. What made you say that I haven't listened to their other albums? To say that I need to be a fan to fully grasp this album is pretty illogical to say the least, and only until I've got a rock-solid impression on an album do I dare to write a review. I feel that Haven is by far the most accessible album they've ever made, and so I stand by my opinion that Haven is an excellent introduction to Dark Tranquillity.


no no i didn't say you haven't listened to all their albums. what i thought i typed at least was that if you(not you specifically, but a person in general) have listened to all of their albums, it allows you to appreciate haven more imo. so what i was implying was i became a bigger fan of this album after i had listened to their whole discography thoroughly. my bad for the misunderstanding, i wasnt talking about you . and i agree with you as an album on its own it is very good, but after i became a huge fan of the band and went back and listened to it a year later, i had a greater appreciation for it, which was the point i was trying to get across. sorry for the misunderstanding


Hey, no worries man.
Well, we can both agree on one thing: Haven is definitely a very good release and deserves more than it gets. I apologize if I came across a little aggressive.


oh it does, i actually went back and listen to the whole album last night after reading your review, and enjoyed it a lot. how would you rank their albums in order of your favorite to least favorite. i think character is actually my personal favorite.


I actually have a list about my favourite DT albums. You can check that out.
MechanisT - 26.01.2011 at 10:02  
Written by Darkside Momo on 25.01.2011 at 23:08

Nice review!
I just want to say that, imo, some few songs do stand out, "Not Built To Last" in particular.

Written by BloodTears on 25.12.2010 at 12:06

Interesting review.

Curiously enough, Haven and The Mind's I are my least favourite DT albums. Maybe that explains why there wasn't a review for it yet, most people don't seem to like it somehow

Haven and TMI are similar albums to me in the sense that they are not consistently good throughout. I can find in both of these albums really good songs, some of them became classic DT tunes, but other songs are forgettable. I even prefer TMI to Haven because I think there's more quality there, at least that's what I think.

I agree that these two are their weakest, but as I discovered DT with this album when it was released, I still prefer it to TMI (even if, sure "Hedon" and "Insanity's Crescendo" are awesome)


The definition of "weak" in Dark Tranquillity dictionary is actually how less awesome an album is.
I also agree that these albums are their "weakest" but compared to most releases by other bands, it's still formidable.
Darkside Momo - 26.01.2011 at 15:48  
Written by MechanisT on 26.01.2011 at 10:02

The definition of "weak" in Dark Tranquillity dictionary is actually how less awesome an album is.
I also agree that these albums are their "weakest" but compared to most releases by other bands, it's still formidable.

We agree.
But we're both DT fanboys, aren't we?
MechanisT - 26.01.2011 at 18:27  
Written by Darkside Momo on 26.01.2011 at 15:48

Written by MechanisT on 26.01.2011 at 10:02

The definition of "weak" in Dark Tranquillity dictionary is actually how less awesome an album is.
I also agree that these albums are their "weakest" but compared to most releases by other bands, it's still formidable.

We agree.
But we're both DT fanboys, aren't we?


Yes, sir, we are!
Milena - 11.04.2011 at 09:50  
I don't think this has a lack of bite. The first three songs, The Same and Rundown are probably among my fave DT tracks.
xjules - 09.08.2011 at 01:46  
This album belongs to my all time favorites among-st DT discography. Half of the songs are total highlights. 10/10
MeloDeathViking - 11.04.2012 at 17:48  
Emptier Still has become one of my favorite DT songs. The clean vocals are simply amazing, so much emotion.
-DC-002- - 16.04.2012 at 07:03  
I havent listened to DT in a blue moon, hell, make that two blue moons. Still have respec' for them though and I remember liking the shit out of most of their albums. On Haven I just remember the first 4 or so songs being strong enough to hold up the entire album. Looking back some of the songs, albeit enjoyable to a DT fan, could be considered weak points.

Advertise on Metal Storm


Login or register to post here.



Similar topics

Forum Topic Similarity Started
Albums Dark Tranquillity - Haven 6 21.11.2013 by NocturnalStalker
Reviews Dark Tranquillity - Skydancer 5.5 07.07.2008 by Katatronik
Reviews Dark Tranquillity - Projector 5.5 23.07.2006 by dark awakening
News Dark Tranquillity - Confirm N. American Tour With Insomnium 4.5 07.06.2014 by EnigmaLake
Melodic metal forum Dark Tranquillity 4.5 17.05.2006 by Eight



Hits total: 3030 | This month: 44