Dark Tranquillity - Lost to Apathy
Century Media
Melodic Death Metal
4 songs (17'32")
Release year: 2004
Dark Tranquillity, Century Media
Reviewed by Alex
Major event

There are only a handful of bands for whom I can listen through the whole discography non-interrupted, album after album. It is one thing to create an album or two without filler or weak songs, but the whole discography? For me, Dark Tranquillity is one of those unique bands. Once in a while, when I am on a long business trip and have 6-8 hrs driving ahead of me, I fill my CD holder with only Dark Tranquillity CDs and have a blast. I own every CD and EP the band has ever released, Exposures (with its demo tracks) and Live Damage DVD which I have reviewed here. Besides, I have a collection of stickers and posters of the band, and have a T-shirt designed and mailed to me by Niklas Sundin himself (it was only available exclusively through Dark Tranquillity website). I rarely wear it, but once I did it to the rare appearance Dark Tranquillity made to these shores (I was even lucky enough to exchange a few words with Niklas and Mikael Stanne in Detroit, MI). Let’s face it, this pretty levelheaded 34-yr old turns into a fanboy, no denying it, whenever the name Dark Tranquillity is mentioned. Can you then expect a fair review, even if it is for a short EP? I will try my best to be objective.

It took a while for Lost to Apathy to arrive. The EP is only available through Century Media mailorder, and it is not the fastest one around. 2-3 week waiting period has been compensated with a package, containing not only the title EP, but also another Dark Tranquillity poster (with the cover of the upcoming Character) and a few CM and Nuclear Blast samplers. It has value all in all.

Lost to Apathy is the only track on the EP which will appear as is on the upcoming full-length Character. This song continues very much in the vein of Damage Done. With that album Dark Tranquillity successfully integrated some of their more experimental elements, electronics, with unbelievable guitar harmonies and overall melodic death harshness. Lost to Apathy does it as well. Yes, the keyboards of Martin Brandstrom are present and heard, and I love it. I don’t think Dark Tranquillity will ever release an album without keyboards again. For them, keyboards is not a leading, but not only a background, instrument, either. Instead, they add another dimension, another edge to the beautifully shining diamond. Electronics make Dark Tranquillity music three-dimensional. Lost to Apathy reminds me somewhat of Format C: For Cortex off Damage Done. Both songs have pretty strict song structure, they don’t wander off. The opening short lead is excellent, and the band does well to intersperse it into the song a few more times. The middle harmonic lead by Henriksson starts after a quiet atmospheric moment with keyboards starting the flow and guitars kicking in later. Unlike Format C: For Cortex, Lost to Apathy is speedier and angrier with its thrashy riffs reminiscent of Scythe, Rage and Roses off The Mind’s I. Anders Jivarp does not double bass a lot (like on Format C), but instead he is tight, at the same time coming up with excellent tom rolls, his hi-hat and cymbals very pronounced. Mikael Stanne is my favorite melodeath vocalist, period. He does nothing to disappoint on Lost to Apathy, his growls being sung, not yelled, from the bottom of his soul. Lost to Apathy takes a few more listens to fully appreciate than tracks on Damage Done (or maybe I simply know that album by heart already), which could be a sign of a deeper album.

Derivation TNB and The Endless Feed are experimental tracks of the EP. Dark Tranquillity always does it with their EPs. Who doesn’t know Archetype from Enter Suicidal Angels? Both tracks are heavily electronic with rhythms being done by the computer (I may be wrong, but it is certainly what it sounds like). Derivation TNB features “severely altered bits and pieces from various songs from the upcoming Character”. Subdued and dark, with guitar providing quiet melody touches, it reminds me of Ex Nihilo with words. The Endless Feed, the chaos seed remix of the upcoming track, is rougher around the edges with Stanne spilling his guts out. Both tracks bear a good seal of experimentation by Martin Brandstrom who remixed and produced the tracks at Rogue Music Studios, the place where keyboards were recorded for Character. It would be interesting to hear how The Endless Feed sounds on the actual album.

The closer is the live version of Undo Control (from Projector, the album I wholeheartedly embrace). If you own Live Damage or Exposures, then this would be the third time you hear this track, so there was nothing new there for me. Only the band knows why they included Undo Control on Lost to Apathy EP, and even though I have my reasons I won’t speculate on that.

The last piece of the EP is the video of Lost to Apathy. Black and white, not very sharply focused it is filmed on a stage alternatively drenched with rain or positioned in the middle of a decadent futuristic city (as can be seen on the Character cover). Everybody looks in fine form with Martin Henriksson having braided his long hair.

It is for you to decide how objective I was describing the EP, I loved it, and can’t wait until Character is released. The news of the upcoming tour please me to no end as well, and with the last show being scheduled at Harpo’s in Detroit, I promise you, I WILL BE THERE!

Killing Songs :
Lost to Apathy, Derivation TNB
Alex quoted no quote
Other albums by Dark Tranquillity that we have reviewed:
Dark Tranquillity - Atoma reviewed by Alex and quoted 88 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - Construct reviewed by Jared and quoted 65 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - Zero Distance EP reviewed by Chris and quoted No quote
Dark Tranquillity - The Mind's I reviewed by Goat and quoted 77 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - We Are The Void reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
To see all 15 reviews click here
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