Warning: Contains large amounts of bias.
I owe much to Dark Tranquility. They are easily my favourite black metal group and that is because they were my gateway band. Before Damage Done, my only real forays into the heavier metals were bands like Dimmu Borgir, Cradle of Filth, and Diamanda Galas—definitely more acquired tastes.
Dark Tranquility is a Swedish melodic death metal band which has been around since the original Gothenburg metal scene. Formed in the late 80's (or early 90's depending on whom you ask), Dark Tranquility pretty much sets the standard for the melodic death genre (see what I mean about bias) and has recently released their 11th full studio album, Atoma. The band currently consists of the talents of Mikael Stanne (lead vocals) Niklas Sundin (guitar), Anders Jivarp (drums), Martin BrÃƒ¤ndstrÃƒ¶m (keyboards and programming), and Anders Iwers (bass).
Damage Done is arguably the band’s most popular album and was also their first album with no clean vocals and a clearly heavier direction. Atoma, while including a couple of tracks with clean vocals, definitely carries the torch that was lit all the way back in 2002, really bringing back that signature sound that I fell in love with oh so long ago.
The title track, Atoma, really stands out as a solid single. The mix of clean and growls play well with the very melodic background synths to make what is ultimately a very catchy track. Even on my first album play-through, I knew this was going to an instant favourite. However, it pales in comparison to the masterpiece that is Faithless by Default. Holy shit, where to start? Lyrically awesome, structurally flawless (although admittedly simple), and musically empowering. This track alone is worth the cost of the whole album.
Other stand-out tracks for me where Forward Moment (which has a sick video a scroll or two up), When the World Screams, The Pitiless (Though I may have been riding the high that is Faithless by Default), and the sick riffs in Clearing Skies…but seriously, the whole thing is an experience. It is a must-have album and easily something that will be on my playlist for years to come. Complex, raw, beautiful and powerful, Atoma deserves your attention. Listen to it below and support one of the most awesome melodic death metal bands of all time buying on Amazon or iTunes.
“Atoma” track listing:
03. Forward Momentum
05. Force Of Hand
06. Faithless By Default
07. The Pitiless
08. Our Proof Of Life
09. Clearing Skies
10. When The World Screams
11. Merciless Fate
12. Caves And Embers
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