Dark Tranquility – Atoma

Just before this new album, main song writer and guitarist Martin Hendersson left the band. Niklas Sundin replaced him and also a new bass player Anders Iwers (Tiamat, Ceremonial Oath) joined the band. When the person who writes most of the music leaves the band, it is always a surprise if the band can maintain their style and the high level of songwriting. On the entire album the keyboards have a rather prominent and important role, creating a solid platform on which the rest of the instruments can shine.

Well I have to admit and conclude that the new songs are just as good as the older stuff. The Swedish melodic death metal style remained and is worked out even better. Variety, diversity and beautiful melodies are the main ingredients of the songs. The band worked out the contrast between heavy dark music and melodic clean singing parts even better. Opener “Encircled” is furious in typical DT style, combining grunts with fine melodic parts. After that melody and clean singing,  combined with piano parts and melancholy takes over in the title track. The harsh and grunting parts are varied with clean singing like only Dark Tranquility is capable of. The track makes me think a bit of Paradise Lost during their ‘One Second’ era. This combining of clean and grunting and heavy and softer parts returns in most of the songs.

“Force of Hand” has some nice thrash riffs and the solos have a progressive touch. The higher tempos can be found back in “Neutrality”, The Pitiless” and “When the World Screams’. More slower melancholic doom-like stuff in Anathema style is found back in the 2 last tracks, especially “Cave and Embers” shines of beauty. When you buy the media book version you find a second cd with 2 tracks different from DT’s usual style. Songs in a kind of The Cure/Muse style with some floating electronic keyboard noises.

My final judgement is that the new album is Dark Tranquility from start to finish, but with even more variety, diversity and melody, but always staying close to their own style.




01. Encircled (03:32)
02. Atoma (04:20)
03. Forward Momentum (03:41)
04. Neutrality (04:17)
05. Force of Hand (04:22)
06. Faithless by Default (04:32)
07. The Pitiless (04:08)
08. Our Proof of Life (04:23)
09. Clearing Skies (03:33)
10. When the World Screams (03:57)
11. Merciless Fate (04:23)
12. Cave and Embers (04:31)

CD 2 [Media Book Bonus Tracks]
01. The Absolute (05:15)
02. Time Out of Place (03:39)


Playing time: 59:00

Release date: 4 November 2016

Label: Century Media

Website: www.darktranquility.com

Reinier de Vries
About Reinier de Vries 383 Articles
Once a metal head, always a metalhead. My parents thought it would only be a period, but they were wrong. I quit to explain the beauty of metal music to others that are not into metal, because it is something you can't tell in words... It is like explaining to a teetotaller why a cold beer is so nice on a hot day... I started with bands like Accept, Metal Church, Iron Maiden and Metallica in the eighties and I think I will still listen to them when I'm stone deaf and old...

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