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Dark Tranquillity – Atoma Review

Label: Century Media

Genre: Melodic Death Metal

Release Date EU: November 4th, 2016


Line Up:

Mikael Stanne – vocals
Niklas Sundin – guitar
Martin Henriksson – guitar
Martin Brändström – keyboards,programming
Anders Jivarp – drums



1.    Encircled 

2.    Atoma 

3.    Forward Momentum

4.    Neutrality 

5.    Force of Hand 

6.    Faithless by Default

7.    The Pitiless

8.    Our Proof of Life 

9.    Clearing Skies 

10.  When the World Screams 

11.  Merciless Fate

12.  Cave and Embers

13.  The Absolute (Bonus)

14.  Time Out of Place (Bonus)


In one or another way “Atoma” marks a new era of Dark Tranquillity. This might sound big and maybe it is a bit of an exaggeration, but the fact that the band with a very stable line-up was forced to a change isn’t to underestimate. Longtime band member Martin Henriksson left the band after 2,5 decades, taking care about the administrational task of Dark Tranquillity in the future. Fortunately the guys could find an excellent replacer in a quite short amount of time. Anders Iwers, known from Tiamat and Avatarium’s live shows became responsible for the four string guitar.

“Encircled” is the start of Dark Tranquillity’s newest release and it’s a menacing one. In my point of view the longplayer couldn’t begin much better. “Encircled” includes Mikael Stanne’s rough vocals, furious guitar leads and a rhythm section that’s firing on all cylinders. 

The title track comes next. This tune foregrounds the melodic components of Dark Tranquillity’s sound, something that makes this number to an excellent rocker and a well-chosen name giver for the entire album. “Forward Momentum” is a bitter-sweet track that includes melancholy as a main expression with some ‘softer’ parts in the verse reminded me of Paradise Lost. A gothic touch – in a Dark Tranquillity way. The Paradise Lost impression comes back again later on this album with the wistful “The Absolute”, a song that belongs to the highlights on this longplayer since it’s slightly different from the rest. This tune is stunning and gives you the creeps.

Each song on “Atoma” is reflecting the band with 100%. This longplayer is more like an organic development with tracks that stand like a rock. Dark numbers like “Faithless by Default” are coming across pretty well, standing in line next to melodic smashers (“Our Proof of Life”) and real neck breakers, a group “When the World Screams” is belonging to.

To sum up: Dark Tranquillity new album hits the store shelves with excellent melodic death metal songs carrying on the tradition of Gothenburg-death metal. The band stays true to themselves, developing their sound further to a next level. “Atoma” will please fans of the band as well as it might help the Gothenburg-gang to reach new supporters.


Reviewer: Markus Wiedenmann

Rating:  8/10


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