Here we have Atoma, the latest album release from Dark Tranquillity. Dark Tranquillity have been producing music for over 25 years and this is likely the most accomplished and musically complete collection of songs so far.
Dark Tranquillity have that great ability to produce the traditional Scandinavian melodic death metal sound we are all familiar with but, to an old goth fan like me, also add in a variety of what can only be described as gothic tendencies. This is especially evident on the slower tracks, Caves And Embers and Encircled but flows through most of the other songs.
With Niklas Sundin and Anders Jivarp being the only consistent band members since the formation, the band have been through several different incarnations to get us to this point on their musical journey. The Gothenburg metal music scene has produced a great many bands which have come and gone but like a fine wine Dark Tranquillity continue to improve with age and are still here being creative, which is an achievement in itself.
So, what does Atoma actually deliver for us? A total of 14 songs spread over two CDs. Clean and unclean vocals with driving blast beats, quality guitar melodies and keyboards to give it a more rounded and fleshed out sound. But that doesn’t really do it justice. This is an album that deserves and demand your time is spent on it. It is a collection that flows and takes you on a journey rather than giving you one song after another. This is definitely a collection and what the album was designed for. There are no overly produced self-indulgences here and only one song breaks the five minute barrier.
It also must be said that for those unclean vocals it is refreshing to actually hear what is being sung rather than having a guess or looking up a lyric sheet. How good is that?
If you were to try and pick the stand out songs, then I would be inclined to just provide the track listing. But at a push look no further than the title song Atoma along with Forward Momentum, Faithless By Default, Our Proof Of Life and Caves And Embers. These songs probably cover the whole spectrum of what Dark Tranquillity provide on this album.
We look forward to what comes next for Dark Tranquillity to see if this level of quality can be sustained. But for now, we need to appreciate what has been offered to us and make the most of it while it lasts.
- Encircled – 3:32
- Atoma – 4:20
- Forward Momentum – 3:41
- Neutrality – 4:17
- Force Of Hand – 4:22
- Faithless By Default – 4:32
- The Pitiless – 4:09
- Our Proof Of Life – 4:23
- Clearing Skies – 3:33
- When The World Screams – 3:57
- Merciless Fate – 4:23
- Caves And Embers – 4:31
- The Absolute 5:14
- Time Out Of Place 3:38
- Release Date: 4 Nov. 2016
- Label: Century Media