Album Review: Dark Tranquillity – Atoma


Band: Dark Tranquillity
Album: Atoma
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Record Label: Century Media

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These days it’s easy to just toss a band aside because they sound just like every other band or they lack talent. Dark Tranquillity, however is the exact opposite. Running alongside bands like In Flames, Soilwork and various other Melodic Death Metal acts, Dark Tranquillity continues to produce nothing but the best for their fans. I’ve been listening to these guys since their 2002 release, Damage Done, while you can certainly tell their sound has evolved from their earlier works, Dark Tranquillity most certainly maintain that Melo Death sound that everyone has grown to love from them. The previous couple of albums, We are the Void and Construct, while not my favorite, still held their own. Atoma gives me a glimmer of hope when I hear songs that could have easily been recorded on 2007’s Fiction or earlier.

What I really enjoy with Atoma, is the fact that there are spots during the album, that remind me of their old material just with a new edge to it. You’ll never be able to truly duplicate that original sound that everyone loved, simply for the fact that they’ve grown up since those first records, and have become more musically in tune with their instruments (no pun intended). Regardless songs like “Force of Hand,” “Encircled” and “When The World Screams” really take me back and would mix well live with songs throughout their discography. Another thing I enjoyed was the Moonspell-esque sound in some of the songs, at least in the clean vocals. I have always been a fan of Moonspell and while I am sure it is unintentional and really pure happenstance that it sounds like that, I enjoy it anyway.

While this is a solid album, it isn’t one that I would necessarily pull out to put in my rotation. At least not to listen to the whole album, like for a road trip or something, I would want to hear the songs that I wanted to listen to and switch it out. Granted my taste throughout recent years has both expanded and made a progression to weed out a lot of music that I used to love. Take the new Korn album, The Serenity of Suffering, the album is solid as fuck, but I just don’t feel it anymore. Korn was a band I wholly loved and it’d take months to get previous new releases of theirs out of my cd player. Granted Korn is the last band I should be talking about when discussing the latest from Dark Tranquillity, it was fitting for just this moment.

Atoma is in stores now, check it out on Spotify and iTunes, as well as through the Century Media store, or you could always try your local music shop and try to make music shops metal again. I highly suggest getting a physical copy of the album to complete the collection that many of you have probably built up, there were a ton of awesome bundles on the Century Media site last I checked. Plus, you have to have it in order to know some of the new stuff they will be playing on their upcoming tour with Swallow the Sun, Enforcer and Starkill this month! I know I am looking forward to their stop here in St. Louis, at Fubar, on the 20th!

Rating: 3.5/5

RIYL: Moonspell, In Flames, Soilwork 

Atoma track listing:

1. Encircled 3:32
 2. Atoma 4:20
 3. Forward Momentum 3:41
 4. Neutrality 4:17
 5. Force of Hand 4:22
 6. Faithless by Default 4:32
 7. The Pitiless 4:09
 8. Our Proof of Life 4:23
 9. Clearing Skies 3:33
 10. When the World Screams 3:57
 11. Merciless Fate 4:23
 12. Caves and Embers 4:31

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