Dark Tranquillity - The Mind's I
Osmose Productions
Melodic Death Metal
12 songs (46:39)
Release year: 1997
Dark Tranquillity, Osmose Productions
Reviewed by Goat
Archive review

Stuck between 1995’s excellent The Gallery and 1999’s gamechanging Projector, The Mind’s I often gets forgotten when it comes to discussing Dark Tranquillity. That’s not without reason; it is something of a dull album when its songs are compared to the glorious writing to be found on the releases before and after. Yet it’s still very much worth a listen, being one of the most artsy and progressive albums that the band put out. Dark Tranquillity’s output is nothing if not consistent in quality, and this is true of The Mind’s I as much as any album. Back then, the band were still searching for what would become the formula put to such expert use on the likes of We Are The Void, and it’s interesting to hear The Mind’s I and compare for fans who want to follow the band’s development. Unfortunately, this is less so if you’re a newcomer – I wouldn’t recommend this as the ideal place to start with Dark Tranquillity to anyone.

Yet, again, it is worth hearing. A quick and stormy beginning with Dreamlore Degenerates turns to a thrashy mini-masterpiece in the form of Zodijackyl Light, the sort of twisted melodic maelstrom that the band are now know for. Hedon is slower and heavier, wielding emotional power with aplomb, and Insanity’s Crescendo is a near-seven-minute crusher, epic builds and infectious riffing backed with sprinkled female vocals and acoustic guitars adding a touch of class. Dark Tranquillity at their best are a melodic death experience like no other. Yet despite these great songs, these there are other forgettable, speedy rumblers like Atom Heart 243.5, technically sound but somehow lacking the heart that make the greatest Dark Tranquillity songs so good. The balance is tilted towards quality – Still Moving Sinews is a good example of how to do it, as are Tidal Tantrum and Dissolution Factor Red – songs that use their riffs and hooks together, constructing good songs with the melody whilst not neglecting the heaviness of the death metal elements.

That is, of course, melodic death metal as it should be, and Dark Tranquillity are one of my favourites out of that much-maligned subgenre. The Mind’s I is a complex and important part of their career path, containing songs worth the price of the album on their own. That ultimately it is less fun to listen to compared to certain other albums from the band doesn’t drag it down far, but it does drag it down enough to make it, again, far from recommendable as a good place to start.

Killing Songs :
Zodijackyl Light, Hedon, Insanity’s Crescendo, Still Moving Sinews, Tidal Tantrum
Goat quoted 77 / 100
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 - We Are The Void reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
Dark Tranquillity - Where Death Is Most Alive (DVD) reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
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