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The Void and You - A Technical Reference

Discussion in 'Dark Tranquillity' started by stizzleomnibus, Feb 24, 2010.

  1. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    Introduction:

    The process of musical analysis is a deeply personal one, and ultimately pseudo-scientific. There is no universal description of the effect of a given series of notes on a particular listener, though there are generalizations. What can be discussed in simple, objective terminology are things like the general harmonic character or rhythmic traits of a section, the arrangement of sections, and the transitions between them. From this, we can also derive an elementary understanding of the music’s effect on the listener, which is loosely described as the creation, control, and relief of tension.

    In a strictly technical sense, most harmonic relationships are divided into “consonance” and “dissonance.” Consonant tones are pleasing to the ear, and further generally divided into major and minor harmony. Dissonant tones are ones which are jarring or disturbing to the ear, and serve to create tension.* The art and science of music is, at its simplest, the manipulation of tones to create and release tension in the listener. These scholastic descriptions are partial, however, as music described with any term may be happy, sad, heroic, unnerving, or any other adjective the listener feels appropriate. I have opted herein to offer my personal feelings on the mood of certain melodies, though these are in no way universal truths.

    (*This is an oversimplification, but the whole thing is a semester of music theory or a night on Wikipedia.)

    Rhythm is similarly difficult to categorize and describe in terms of its final artistic impact. Rhythm does not carry a mood in the way that harmony and melody do, but it can influence those moods. Fast, active rhythms convey feelings of speed or “smoothness”, while slower, punctuated rhythms (the heaviness in metal) accent melodies and create irresistible impulses to move to the beat in the listener. Syncopation (which describes rhythms that accent notes other than the standard beats) allows the creation of unique melodies which place different levels of emphasis on certain tones.

    Related to rhythm is tempo. Tempo is the actual rate at which beats occur. Faster tempos generally create a frantic tension and imply a sense of urgency. Slower tempos, while often mellow, can be used to create powerful dramatic moments or heavier riffs. In my description of songs, I will at times improperly imply a shift in tempo. While moving between one tempo and double- or half-time (playing twice or half as many beats in the same space, respectively) is not technically a change in tempo, the listener will perceive one. Syncopation does not require a change in tempo, but playing more or fewer beats in a measure will make the music seem faster or slower.

    What is presented is only intended to offer insight on technical, stylistic, and thematic elements of the album. If you prefer your music at face value, without technical considerations, skip this. If you are accustomed to properly academic technical discussions (as found in analysis of classical works, for example), this will probably not rise to the level of commentary to which you are accustomed. If you have not familiarized yourself with the album through independent listening, I strongly encourage you to do so first.

    I will begin with an overview of the album, followed by a deeper investigation of each song in album order.

    (Further reading: Harmony, Melody, Rhythm, Tempo, Syncopation)

    Navigation:

    1. We Are The Void
    2. Shadow in Our Blood
    3. Dream Oblivion
    4. The Fatalist
    5. In My Absence
    6. The Grandest Accusation
    7. At the Point of Ignition
    8. Her Silent Language
    9. Arkhangelsk
    10. I Am the Void
    11. Surface the Infinite
    12. Iridium
    13. Star of Nothingness
    14. To Where Fires Cannot Feed
    15. Out of Gravity
    16. The Bow and the Arrow
    17. Lyrical Concept, Themes and Motifs
     
  2. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    We are the Void is one of the most unique Dark Tranquility albums to date, though it conversely accomplishes this through a strong resemblance to earlier DT albums. While it is a popular cliché to describe every DT album as a mix of everything before, this is the first time that I have felt it to be true. Whereas Character and Fiction represented an evolution into a new kind of music, WATV takes those stylistic elements, as well the as the ever-increasing virtuosity of the musicians, and turns it towards compositions and moods that are more reminiscent of Haven. Notably, the album features a strong presentation of keyboards, in defiance of metal convention.

    On Fiction, a recurring compositional technique was the sharp contrast between fast verses and slow choruses (such as Blind at Heart, Empty Me, and Focus Shift). This structure is simple, but effective. Tension builds during the rapid-fire verses, which is then released during the slower, more powerful verses. WATV continues this formula (Shadow in Our Blood, The Fatalist, In My Absence) and, in several instances, reverses it (At the Point of Ignition, Arkhangelsk). The tempo is not necessarily increased, but the effective subdivisions of the tempo used in the song may change (i.e., it sounds faster). The effect of the reversal is just as striking, though more conventional: the verses build upwards towards the chorus, which forms the peak of tension in the song, rather than a dramatic release.

    Many reviewers have been all too eager to point out the return of familiar clean vocals. This is not quite accurate. The clean vocals on WATV are somewhat unlike those that we have heard before. Rather than forceful baritone singing, we are treated to much quieter vocals. This appears in the quiet moments on the album, complementing the quiet textures of the other instruments. This presents a greater degree of sonic clarity, and a sense of introspective drama. The exquisite softness provided by the vocals adds a meditative mood to certain moments in the second half of the album and serves to enhance the lyrical and musical themes.

    The presence of synths on WATV is undeniable. More than on any previous album, WATV is an exploration of atmosphere. While not unique in the wider field of music, DT is one of a very small group to explore sonic textures in death metal. Listeners have grown accustomed to the unique blend of synths and buzz-saw guitars, which generally summarizes the DT sound. However, WATV expands the range of these atmospheres in seemingly foreign ways. At the opening of the album, we are treated to some of the most alien textures to ever appear on a DT album. The core of the album features the synth pads and pseudo-piano tones to which we have become accustomed, but in a prominence not seen since Haven. In the album’s conclusion, we are presented with a work so powerful that, at the very least, crosses the boundaries of genre, and accomplishes it through distinct sets of paired tones between the guitars and syths.

    In terms of the order of songs, WATV has a comparable pacing to early DT albums. The album begins with Shadow in Our Blood and Dream Oblivion, two very unusual songs. While there is a great deal of depth and beauty in the later album, these two tracks are a form of creative ugliness. The melodies in Shadow in Our Blood are chaotic and mischievous, rather than dramatic and beautiful. Dream Oblivion utilizes a number of deliberately improper techniques to be as unsettling and disturbing to the listener as possible.

    The tone shifts with The Fatalist. The album becomes more dramatic in the keys which are set against a tapestry of rapid, aggressive riffs. In My Absence introduces slow, quiet moments into the mix amidst series of powerful tempo shifts. The pinnacle of this dramatic series of tracks is The Grandest Accusation, contrasting slow, punctuated verses with smoother and more powerful choruses.

    At the Point of Ignition increases the energy of the album, and adds a unique, almost hopeful brightness to the album. Her Silent Language is the most sonically clear moment on the album, providing a brief respite before continuing onwards. It also contains the most complex musical moment in the album. Arkhangelsk at first creates the impression of being slightly darker, though similarly paced, to Her Silent Language before rapidly building into the darkest, most ominous track on the album. This represents the second major shift in tone, and prepares the listener for the album’s final act.

    I Am the Void and Surface the Infinite are consecutive, fast-paced tracks which together form the frantic race to the album’s conclusion. I Am the Void delves into slower tempos at certain points, and possesses one of the strangest structures on the album. Surface the Infinite only drops the tempo for the choruses, which are far more powerful than the verses, and is uniquely punctuated by well-timed “gaps” in the composition.

    After several fast songs we are delivered to Iridium, a self-contained musical masterwork. The energy of the previous songs unexpectedly disappears, replaced with a calm, intentionally monotonous verse. This is a quiet moment, foreshadowed earlier. The choruses, without warning, explode into color, one of the albums most powerful moments. We are ultimately left with the long, spacey outro, ultimately fading into nothingness.
     
  3. Defiance

    Defiance I vårens ljusa kvällar

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    Thanks for the posts, I haven't read them yet since I really haven't listened to the album (in decent quality). After that I'll take my time reading what seems to be a brilliant post.

    Kudos to you! :kickass:
     
  4. rahvin

    rahvin keeper of the flame

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    Thank you so much for this. It's refreshing to see so much passion going into the music we love. I'll make this a sticky once you've posted more.
    In the meantime, feel free to "reserve" spots for further posts if you don't want other messages to push them down or on second/third page. I'll eventually move any post inbetween to the bottom if you want (and remove this message).
     
  5. DisplayofCharacter

    DisplayofCharacter Are You Scared Enough?

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    I came.

    More eloquent appreciations will follow. :)
     
  6. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Really interesting to read! Can't wait for some more investigations!
     
  7. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    A - 0:00

    This is an extremely unusual moment for DT. Generally, the keyboards would favor thick, lush sounds but we are instead greeted with plucked strings in an unfamiliar harmony.

    B – 0:19

    The A section is interrupted by a fill between the guitars and drums (0:16). In this section, the first half of the guitar riff is identical to the fill that ends the previous one. The end of the riff is made up of higher pitched tones on the upbeats of the 3rd and 4th counts.

    Over the top of the guitars, the synths provide another alien atmosphere, this time composed of synthetic voices.

    The drums are almost mechanically simple here. The only exception is a syncopated fill (0:25), in which the first snare note is pushed back by one 8th note.

    C (Verse 1) – 0:36

    In this section, the effective tempo doubles from the previous section, due to the rapid riffing and blast beat on the drums.

    This section introduces signature DT speed riffing to the album. The first riff introduced features the two accented notes at the end of the measure, as in the preceding section. While the rhythms sound very similar, the accents in this riff are at different positions in the measure. The second guitar plays the riff at a lower pitch. This is played at first without drums, providing time for the listener to acclimate to the new tempo and radically different atmosphere.

    The first few measures of the riff end with a descending melody in guitar #2 (0:45), while the second iteration ends with both guitars playing the descending melody (0:54), creating a stronger ending to the section.

    D (Verse 2) – 0:58

    This section features both guitars playing the same riff. It features a prominent scalar ascent (0:59). While music is generally constructed from larger melodic intervals, this riff moves step-wise directly up the chromatic scale. The chromatic scale includes every musical note (most scales consist of a subset of tones). Moving directly up the scale means moving in the smallest intervals possible. This almost mathematical technique lends a unique flavor to the riff, more commonly found in classical rather than modern music. That is, it focuses on technique over dramatic impact, with a slightly mischievous tone.

    There are no keyboards in this section, and the drums play the blast beat on the ride cymbal rather than the hi-hat. This reduces the ambiance of the section and allows the ear to focus on the rapid, precise guitar work. After the clean, focused tones of this section, the chorus moves sharply away.

    E (Chorus) – 1:15

    The effective tempo drops by half, returning the song to the speed used in sections A and B, creating one level of level of contrast. The synths enter, generally duplicating the melody of the guitars and making it section sound larger and more powerful.

    The chorus maintains the mischievous, dark tone of the previous section. The first half of this line rises and falls, while the second is comprised of descending pitches (1:15). In the second iteration (1:19), the melody ends with several powerful upward notes.

    This technique of using fast sections throughout the song with slower choruses adds emphasis to the melodies present in the chorus. This is compounded by the matching absence or presence of synths in various sections.

    C – 1:32

    This version of the C section does not contain the guitar-only intro as above, and is instead introduced by the bass directly into the riff with drums. This faster transition allows the song to maintain the energy built from the beginning of the track and through the chorus. Note that the C section doubles the tempo from the chorus.

    D – 1:50

    E – 2:07

    C + Solo – 2:24

    This time, the C section includes the guitar intro, allowing the song to “cool” slightly after the chorus. The drums that segue into the solos (2:28) are phenomenally well-developed. It is almost unfortunate that this level of interplay between the instruments is partially obscured because it almost happens to quickly to notice. The first rapid-fire series on the drums is followed by a accurate notes which perfectly mimic the rhythm of the descending guitar melody. This intense fill foreshadows the frenetic guitar solo to follow. It ends with a sharp stop, creating a small, tense gap in the song.

    When the solo begins (2:33), one guitar continues the original C section riff while the other displays some surprisingly flashy playing for a DT song. The final notes of this solo end with fast, ascending notes, while the original C riff ends with descending notes below it.

    B + Solo – 2:41

    The C + Solo section is suddenly interrupted by the B intro, much like the A section in the beginning. The tempo is halved, and the atmospheric synths reenter.

    This section of the solo is less technical, more musical, and more complementary to the atmosphere of the synths. Note that the B guitar riff from earlier is slightly changed here. Rather than shredding the first 8th notes of measure and playing the two higher pitched upbeats at the end, the guitar instead shreds flatly through the end of the measure. The syncopated drum fill, present in the first B section, is vastly more technical here (2:51).

    The solo ends and the B section continues with both guitars playing the original riff (2:52). This time the drums play a rolling beat on the bass drum, moving the song toward it's conclusion.

    D – 3:09

    The tempo doubles.

    E – 3:26

    The last set of ascending notes in the chorus is played over a descending fill on the drums, ending with a rapid stop.
     
  8. Kenneth R.

    Kenneth R. Cináed

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    this is very intriguing, please do continue!
     
  9. Magrathean

    Magrathean worldbuilder

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    This analysis is too elaborate to tackle in a single go, although there isn't much to tackle anyway, since most of it is technical and you cannot argue against that (because it's correct, at least from what little i know from my eight wasted years of piano lessons, and because i'm hardly an expert in those matters). But there is one little bit i don't agree with.

    I can't completely agree with your claim that "in the album's conclusion we are presented with a work so powerful that, at the very least, it crosses the boundaries of genre". The first time i listened to Iridium, i immediately realized that it follows the DT trademark of closing with a long, calmer-than-the-rest-of-the-album, sad/melancholic song. With the exception of Fiction, all of DT's albums since Haven have done that. In fact, i may go as far as saying that, with the exception of Fiction and Projector, they've been doing it since The gallery; that accounts for 78% (rounded up to the nearest integer) of DT's studio albums (no, Exposures doesn't count). Most of their closing songs are over six minutes in length, obvious exceptions being The mind's eye and Ex nihilo, although those two, being instrumentals, compensate for their lack of length, which is somewhere between 1.5 and 2 times the usual length of DT songs. Each of them is considerably slower than the rest of the songs on the album it's in, and i could argue that all of them are perfect closers, although i suppose that's something for each listener to decide. Some are mellower than others, but they all represent the mellowest point in their respective albums, with the possible exception of At loss for words, since Haven has a few other "gentle" songs (Haven, Emptier still and parts of Ego drama come to mind) -- and even At loss for words is one of the mellowest songs on Haven, even if not the mellowest song on it. To summarize, i hardly believe that Iridium is special or stands out among other DT album closers. That said, it (like most of We are the void) is absolutely awesome.

    I don't really agree with the genre crossing either. Many fans could argue that, since DT created the genre, nothing they ever do can possibly cross genre boundaries as long as it remains original, since the band has kept reshaping the genre into something complex and versatile. Without going to that extreme, which might be subject to debate if anyone disagrees with the "Gothenburg sound" concept/idea/theory, i do have to mention that it is still recognizable DT, and it is still melodic death metal (even if slow melodic death metal, but the band has made other slow songs and nobody, at least to my knowledge, has ever claimed that those other songs cross genre boundaries). I think the only "song" DT has ever released which definitely crosses genre boundaries is Archetype, and i'm not even sure that counts.

    All that said, i did enjoy very much reading your work on We are the void. If the rest is as enjoyable as your memorable On your time analysis, i very much look forward to it -- and to any debate it might inspire. :)
     
  10. Erik Erna

    Erik Erna Sheriff Of T.S.G

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    One could say they remain expanding the walls in which that genre lies.

    Though, DT has always used elements of other genres, as experimental segments of their music. Though, I don't know if this is entirely intentional or not.
     
  11. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    @Magrathean: I wasn't suggesting that Iridium is not comparable to other album closers, and I'm not sure what I may have said to suggest that. In fact, I was thinking of the long, haunting outro to At Loss for Words while writing.

    Dark Tranquillity, like many unique bands, is basically a treatise on the insufficiency of genre. Genre is largely a collection of aesthetic values, and is often divorced from any stylistic considerations. For example, Taylor Swift is supposedly country, even though she just plays pop that includes a few melodies on a fiddle (stupid Taylor Swift). Reviewers would call it metal if she used guitars. Most rock in the new age is just pop structures with guitars.

    There are also stylistic elements to genre: to convert real metal riffs to other instruments, you would have to re-orchestrate and remove some of the shredding. My point with Iridium was that it's structure is simple enough that it's only metal aesthetically: replace the guitars, put clear vocals on it, and you've got yourself a song in [genre of choice]. That's not a criticism. It's just that the song is remarkably simple, centering around a single melody; the "metal" in the song is just the familiar DT texture, and it's largely window-dressing over the composition.

    Certainly, one could make the argument that some stylistic elements of metal are present, e.g. the roll on the drums, or the monotonous, pounding guitars in the verses. However, I think you could pretty easily rework the notes performed into a song you wouldn't recognize as metal.

    That said, I appreciate your thoughts!
     
  12. DisplayofCharacter

    DisplayofCharacter Are You Scared Enough?

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    Though I quoted Magrathean the rest of this post is for Stizzy, just because Magrathean's post above best summarizes how I feel because I can't argue for or against analysis in the sense that you are technically correct (the best kind of correct) so its kind of moot. That being said, I have two things to say. The first is that I really appreciate your writing style. You write really well and it makes the technical aspects easier to digest for the uninitiated. The second is that I really enjoy reading what you write because I'm so deeply madly passionately in love with music and I lack the language to describe it like you do. My other main passion in life is English (and writing) so I have a tremendous amount of respect. I'd like to add that I do have some musical training, just that it ended in 8th grade (I'm a junior in college now). I'd like to continue but its hard to get music theory classes when you aren't a major (and I'm not).

    EDIT: I also meant to say you're doing an amazing job, and keep it up, its really appreciated. The band should give you advance copies of everything. :p
     
  13. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    Hey, thanks! It is my hope that people with no musical training will be able to get a better understanding of what's going on in the songs. Talking from academic-to-academic gets really boring, and it's impossible for anyone to learn anything about the music.

    If you have any corrections, or anything doesn't make sense, don't be afraid to ask. I expect that things will get a bit deeper from here (SiOB, while awesome, is pretty straightforward).

    Dream Oblivion on Monday!
     
  14. Magrathean

    Magrathean worldbuilder

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    I think it was you saying that Iridium crosses genre boundaries and me somehow interpreting that it's the first DT song to do so. I'm sorry if that's not what you meant. I also instantly thought of At loss for words the first time i heard Iridium, by the way. :)

    To be honest, i hadn't listened to Iridium that way; in fact, the thought that a DT song could be another genre if you only changed the instruments had never even crossed my mind. There's one exception to that rule, but it's another song from We are the void*, so my point stands: i'd never before thought about a DT song that way. I suppose you're right; Iridium might just as well be progressive rock if it had a different guitar sound, more-"classical" keyboards (i'm thinking of what the keyboards in Kansas songs sound like) and perhaps more drums (and, obviously, clean singing). Or perhaps gothic metal.

    * To elaborate, The grandest accusation completely sounds like a Sirenia song from about 2.00 to about 3.00. The guitars sound like Sirenia, Mikael's clean singing in that part (as well as those particular lyrics, to some extent) is totally Sirenia (a strange medley of the chorus of Absent without leave, the chorus of One by one and the pre-chorus of Sundown), and the keyboards sound exactly like they do on a lot of Sirenia's songs. Add a few more of the right elements and you've got yourself a nice gothic metal song.

    It's an interesting thought. I guess i'll give it a try on other, perhaps older, DT songs. Maybe i'll find something that sounds like it could fit into another genre with a few changes. After all, just look at what Slaughter Of The Bluegrass did to Punish my Heaven.

    That said, perhaps it would have been better to say that Iridium is a song so simple (as opposed to powerful) that it could well cross the boundaries of genre with the right arrangements made (as opposed to it actually crossing the boundaries of genre as is)..
     
  15. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    I typed "Sirenia" into Wikipedia, and got this article, which begins: "Sirenia (commonly referred to as sea cows)..." making Sirenia possibly the funniest band name ever.

    I'm not really familiar with them, other than listening to the few songs that you mentioned just now. I'm not absolutely certain I see the specific comparison, but that's definitely a band that could swap instruments and be in another genre. Really, for both bands, I think that's a matter of writing "music" in the grand sense, rather than writing "genre music", which is basically music amidst a collection of genre tropes.

    That's not to say that DT is not also death metal beyond sound: You'd have a hell of a time moving fast songs from one genre to the next, and riffs like the intro and verse to The Fatalist are death metal from the bottom up. But, when the technical elements of death metal are absent (as in most of Iridium), the melodies can easily be moved into other genres. I think the slow, focused power of Iridium is also an important consideration. It would sound great played by an orchestra, for example, and it would probably also work in some kind of electronica (dance, trance, something like that).

    To supplement your comment on Slaughter of the Bluegrass, try these two Chaotic Darkness vids here and here (found via dtofficial).
     
  16. theoden236

    theoden236 Soul Wandering

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    You're quite a deep thinker, man. I'm somewhat analytical when it comes to music, but not on such a level as what you demonstrated.
     
  17. stizzleomnibus

    stizzleomnibus Decisively Human

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    A – 0:00

    Dream Oblivion has a haunting, dissonant opening. The riff centers around one evenly repeated chord on the guitar, interrupted by oddly timed tones. The constantly interjected pitch shifts that deviate from that central chord are placed on odd 16th notes. A chart detailing this incredible syncopation follows:

    |-----------X----|-X-----X-----X--|
    |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + |

    Conventionally, the strong notes of a measure would be on the beats (the numbers in the above chart). While difficult to play or count, the disorienting effect of this technique is obvious even to the untrained ear. Normally, we would extract the rhythm of a measure based on accents placed in the drums, but here the drums play the 4 normal beats of the measure while the rest of the band plays the oddly timed accents. This generates confusion: your brain knows where the beat should be, and where the drums place it, but the overwhelming presence of the rest of the instruments stabs awkwardly at these assumptions.

    Further complicating this riff is the fact that the tones used are extremely dissonant. Aside from the constant “surprise” of the off-time notes, what jumps out is not what the ear expects in terms of pitch, either. The tones themselves are extremely unpleasant.

    This section repeats (0:20), though several textural changes are made. The drums switch from the crash cymbal to the hi-hat and the guitars are quieter, lowering the intensity slightly. The odd interjections described above continue, but the length of each stab is reduced to one 16th note, rather than the 2 heard in the original section.

    The oddly placed notes in Dream Oblivion are similar in concept to the opening of The Lesser Faith. While this unusual technique gives TLF a smooth, flowing character, here it is simply disorienting. The careful structure of the riff in TLF ensures that all of the chord changes play on a beat or in anticipation of one. In Dream Oblivion, they play at the most awkward timings possible.

    B – 0:29

    The sharp 4/4 rhythm of the drums, while identical to the rhythm of the preceding section, appears stronger as it is less disrupted by the other instruments. This strengthens the rhythm of the groove, in contrast to the preceding sections. The rhythm here is sharper and more punctuated, and the guitars and drums together are even quieter than the previous section.

    C – 0:44

    The rhythm changes again from the previous section. The syncopation in the second half of the measure gives the melody five accents instead of the normal four. Because this entire band accents the same notes, this syncopated melody is stronger and more direct than the opening section. The rhythm here is also much more even, due to the constant beat of the drums, as opposed to the punctuations in the above section.

    Note the dissonant pinch harmonics in the guitar that close the section (0:52).

    D – 0:54

    During the section at 0:54, the drums and guitars return to the strong 4/4 rhythm. While the melody played by the keys (and later joined by the guitar) is strong and even relative to the earlier sections, the syncopation here adds a layer to the groove.

    At 1:13, there is a small electronic breakdown, followed by a drum flourish leading into the chorus.

    A + Chorus – 1:16

    After several sections of simple 4/4 time, the return of the sharp, disruptive rhythm is again jarring. This version of the A section ends with the slightly modified version of the riff, as in the intro.

    B – 1:45

    The drums switch to a blast beat (1:55), slightly modifying the section and setting up the modification of the next.

    C – 2:00

    The opening of this section continues the blast beat from the earlier section. Eventually the drums return to those used in the original C section (2:05).

    D – 2:15

    E (Solo) – 2:35

    This small guitar solo references the melody and rhythm of the C section, though the synthetic drums underneath play in straight 4/4, not the rhythm used by the physical drums earlier.

    A + Chorus + Outro – 2:54

    This time, rather than the modified A section riff, a drum fill (3:13) connects us to the C section (3:14), this time with a blast beat underneath. We are then led into the D section (3:24), which ends the song.

    Didactic Notes:

    Dream Oblivion centers around one iconic riff (A). The almost painful syncopation and dissonance of this riff is placed against other sections which contain stronger rhythms (B, D) or prettier melodies (C) for contrast. Note that the end of the second B section and the beginning of the C section immediately afterwards uses a blast beat which does not appear on the first run through the sequence and provides an interesting transition laid partially across each section. Note also how the final chorus does not drop into the modified A section at the end, but instead rapidly plays through a summary of the song’s other sections.
     
  18. Maxim1110

    Maxim1110 Member

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    Damn sharp analysis! Really well done and nice to read. Your topic is a sticky as well now :p
     
  19. DisplayofCharacter

    DisplayofCharacter Are You Scared Enough?

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    Agreed. Furthermore, I'm actually excited to get The Fatalist out of the way (not because its bad, its just my least favorite track I think, but they're all fucking great) because I'm dying to hear the analysis on the rest of the album. Iridium might be my new favorite DT track.
     
  20. Magrathean

    Magrathean worldbuilder

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    I'd heard the Lethe cover before (back when i was an avid collector of all DT-song covers). I do see what you mean. I guess almost anything can undergo a gender (err, genre) change if you're good enough at music to make it be another genre while still being the same song (also, i've always believed that there's no point in covering a song if it's going to sound exactly like the original, which is why, even though in about 50% of the songs DT has covered i like the original version better than DT's, i still appreciate the fact that they're good covers).

    On another note, did i mention that your analyses of these songs are making me appreciate them more than i did before? Shadow in our blood and Dream oblivion are still two of my three least favorite songs on this album, but i think i "understand" them (if that's the right word) more than the first times i heard them. Thank you. :)
     

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