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Dark Tranquility: Atoma

Atoma is the 11th studio album from legendary Gothenburg based melodic death metal act Dark Tranquility, and follows on the heels of the solid, if somewhat unspectacular trio of Construct, We Are the Void, and Fiction. While those albums still remain fairly popular amongst the fanbase, a more than healthy dose of gothic and industrial elements permeate those albums, swaying the band from the heights of their melo-death formula that characterized classic albums like Character, Damage Done, and The Gallery. Atoma seems to take flavors from both eras, as the gothic textures are still present, but mixed in successfully with the savage attack of their early period, making for an album that time will tell whether it will go down as a Dark Tranquility classic, but is most definitely a step in the right direction towards their early greatness.

Lead vocalist Mikael Stanne once again shows why he is considered one of the best singers in melodic death metal; his growls are some of the best in the business, and as always you can understand everything he is spewing, while his occasional melodic vocals are spectacular,and well placed within some of these songs at exactly the right moments. As I mentioned above, the tracks range from out and out rippers like "Encircled" and "Neutrality", complete with raging guitar riffs and acrobatic drumming, to more atmospheric, melodic gothic/prog influenced tunes saturated with keyboards such as "Atoma", "Forwrd Momentum", and "Force of Hand", the latter combining both worlds for one of the albums most exciting songs. Tight rhythms and effective riffing provide a great framework for Stanne to unleash his venomous delivery on "The Pitiless", while tunes like "Clearing Skies", "Our Proof of Life", and "When the World Screams" are just so damn melodic & infectious, that you can't help but be sucked in from the very first listen. I have to give a shout-out to keyboard player Martin Brändström here, who really has done a fine job throughout this album layering in his gorgeous piano and synth textures, giving much of the material its luxurious prog-rock and goth tones. Just check him out on the mid -paced rocker "Merciless Fate", as his gorgeous piano glides alongside Stanne's gravelly "It's not about you!!!" vocal lines...chilling stuff.

Filled with some of their most memorable songs in years, as well as a successful blending of all the elements that have made them such an intriguing band for over two decades, Atoma is nothing short of a winner from this veteran Swedish act. If you've been a tad disappointed with some of their albums of late, give this one a listen and be prepared to jump back on the Dark Tranquility train straight to Gothenburg.

See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!

Track Listing
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. Caves and Embers

Added: October 26th 2016
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1435
Language: english

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