Album Reviews

Dark Tranquillity – Moment Review

Released By Century Media Records

Release Date November 20th, 2020

Genre: Gothic Metal, Melodic Death Metal

 

Line Up:

Christopher Amott -Guitars

Mikael Stanne – Vocals

Anders Iwers – Bass

Johan Reinholdz – Guitars

Anders Jivarp – Drums

Martin Brändström – Keyboards, Electronics

 

Tracklist:

1. Phantom Days

2. Transient

3. Identical To None

4. The Dark Unbroken

5. Remain In The Unknown

6. Standstill

7. Ego Deception

8. A Drawn Out Exit

9. Eyes Of The World

10. Failstate

11. Empires Lost To Time

12. In Truth Divided

 

Dark Tranquillity is one of the prime representatives of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene. Formed in Gothenburg in the late eighties, Dark Tranquillity is one of the first bands of this genre. Melodic Death Metal was created by mixing older heavy metal influences, melodic and harmonic sounds with extreme metal elements. Following the steps of the well known Gothenburg trio, composed by In Flames, At The Gates and Dark Tranquillity, a new broad wave of Northern Europe bands was formed in the next decade. The only stylistically consistent member of the old guard is Dark Tranquillity, which has kept on producing new material through the years without having breaks of inactivity.

Even though they have been through many lineup changes and their sound has naturally evolved during their long-running career, Dark Tranquillity is a fine example of an artistic dogma and high standards quality, in comparison to the other pioneers of the genre. The recent departure of founding guitarist Niklas Sundin has opened the door to a new guitar duo composed by Christopher Amott (ex- Arch Enemy) and Johan Reinholdz (Skyforge, Andromeda). Despite their modified roster, the new studio offering shows that the band has no intention in bringing brand new elements to their melodic death metal sound. “Moment” is a record that keeps up the identical music style of its predecessors. A keyboard atmosphere and more sentimental clean vocals have been part of the band’s sound in the last decade and they can easily be detected in “Moment”. There are some lead guitar sections in this new release, even though the main purpose is to create a collection of fully accessible anthems without major variety in the overall sound.

Opening track “Phantom Days” gives a serenity start to the album with its guitar melodies and the keyboard ambience. The following “Transient” provides a faster, more aggressive tone and a punchy, memorable melody, hence “Identical To None” reaches a heavier close to thrash metal style. “The Dark Unbroken” consists of a slower melodic groove anthem mostly based on the guitar work and some keyboards in the background. There are some sorrowful clean vocal parts which persist in “Remain In The Unknown”. This track could be defined as a gothic, catatonic ballad with some great guitar melodic moments.

“Standstill” is a spacey song with strong electronic elements and groove shredding. “Ego Deception” maintains the melodic metal standards, hence the heavier, thrash-style riffing provides a more relaxing outcome. “A Drawn Out Exit” offers some technical guitar work and groove soloing, while keeping the thrashing outfit and the melodic parts of the precious track. “Eyes Of The World” is a classic Dark Tranquillity melodic and melancholic song, meanwhile “Failstate” has a quicker, electronic sound with a few guitar peaks. “Empires Lost To Time” keeps the same standards of “Failstate”, meanwhile the closing track “In Truth Divided” is a melodic ballad which gives a dramatic end to “Moment”.

With this new studio effort, Dark Tranquillity have chosen to keep the high quality standards for what their songwriting is concerned. “Moment” flows consistently, but it feels more like a safe passage in the three decades career of the band, as it has less impact than some of their previous releases like “Fiction”. The alternated clean vocals and death growls combined with the chilling keyboard parts are the strongest elements and they manage to keep the interest of the listener while the record flows. The contribution of the new guitar duo in the band’s overall sound could be defined as positive, hence, the audience remains with a feeling of hunger for more technical guitar parts and shredding. Overall, “Moment” sounds better and stronger than its predecessor “Atoma”, while it remains strictly loyal to the band’s own signature style.

 

Ratings: 7/10

Written by: Katerina Paisoglou

My Global Mind – Staff Writer

 

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