So I have to do an introductory paragraph for these pioneers of Gothenburg sound named DARK TRANQUILLITY? I think not, but in case you haven’t had the pleasure to know them, then you MUST find a way and listen to their new release. It would be mind blowing.
Let me start this review by saying that “Atoma”, has all the potential to be a classic album for the Swedish sound. What if the main composer and founding member Martin Henriksson is now on the bench, being the manager of the band? What if, as they mentioned on their press release, the whole procedure was challenging? What DT have to offer us, doesn’t stop to amaze me. The three years waiting, again, are over and it is more than evident that it was worth it. At the beginning though, after the release of the “The Pitiless” video, I wasn’t that excited. With that being said and being able to put “Atoma” on the test a bit later from the video release, I consider myself a winner. All of my fears vanished from the very first listening session. And then the record would play again and again. All the emotions the Swedes have presented to me with albums like “Damage Done” and “Projector” are coming back again. The thirst you have, when you can’t have enough from an album – a feeling not present to their previous two releases – is back for good.
It may take a book to analyse the music of the Swedish quintet and that their new album is not an exception. “Encircled”, opens the album with a melody on the keyboards that builds up to an outburst, as extreme as the past of the Swedes. The eagerness was building up as to listen through this album as well. Next in line is the second video release of this album, the self titled song “Atoma”. This track has the scent of the “Haven” album all over it. And it is a beautiful scent. The clean vocals of mr. Stanne are back and they are of high quality. The work on the transitions from harsh screams, to the clear melodic vocals, is brilliant and you can witness it on “Forward Momentum”.
“Dark Tranquillity are holding the flag of melodeath up high with another classic”
The lyrics dealing with the frustration and the anger on the problems of today’s society, find an excellent soundtrack on the music of DARK TRANQUILLITY. Going further and deeper to the songs of the album, you will find songs with the extremity that fits a death metal band, combined again with catchy melodies. These two elements are not that easy to blend together, but Niklas Sundin with Martin Brändström are more than experienced to do that. The tension is increasing in each and every song, with the darkness spreading from the keyboards and it climaxes with the solid riffing. Of course, all of this, would fall apart if it wasn’t for the foundation that the rhythm section provides. Mr. Jivarp finds a worthy partner, as Anders Iwers – Peter’s brother from In Flames – has signed in, as a permanent bass player.
I tried really hard, to spot out some songs. Unfortunately, this proved the most difficult challenge. From the start until the end, this album, has so many diamonds hidden, that only a couple of listening sessions, are not enough. Along with the three videos, which were aired on YouTube, we have so many good songs to listen to, such as “Clearing Skies”, “Neutrality”, “Force of Hand”, “Merciless Fate” and actually the whole album.
As many complain that the bands of this subgenre – the melodic death metal – lose their aggression and extremity and somehow they have sold out and produce mellow albums, DT make the statement, that they are here to stay. Their music has always been a trademark of this scene and they are still in top form. They blend the extremity of years past, with rich melodic sounds and they release the greatest soundscape for the time “When the World Screams”. After all “Atoma” stands for that which will be not divided, and so it is.