It’s been a long time coming but finally, on November 20th 2020, melodic death metal legends Dark Tranquility are back with their 12th studio album, Moment. The follow-up to 2016’s excellent Atoma, an album we adored.
It’s that album and in some regards, 2010’s We Are the Void which serve as the blueprint for what Dark Tranquillity bring on Moment. A strong melo-death effort from a band able to spit out this stuff in their sleep. Something that does kind of ring true at times on this album.
That doesn’t mean this is a bad album or a lazy rehash of what we’ve heard before. No, what it means is that at times, it’s a little too safe even if it is still enjoyable metal music. Take Transient as an example. A track that meanders along and is almost immediately forgotten. Especially as it’s bookended by the far more interesting Phantom and Identical to None. Two tracks that serve as a timely reminder of just how massive Dark Tranquillity’s guitar leads and riffs are.
Our first taste of clean vocals comes in The Dark Unbroken. Working nicely off the consistent scowl and growl that permeates throughout. Although this is a track that really leans into the mellow side of melo-death.
It’s not alone either as the marrying of singing styles begins to become more and more prominent as the album goes on. Remain in the Unknown, Standstill and Ego Deception all coming in a row. Although each has individual merit, the latter is the one that stands out the most thanks to the fiery death groove and extra biting aggression in the nastier vocals.
Turning it down a touch and getting a little dark and twisted are the pairing of A Drawn Out Exit and Eyes of the World. A pair that have plenty of juice when squeezed, especially when we get these energetic bursts of riffing and drums. The latter is a hooky little number.
Talking of hooks though… the synth and chunky metal groove of Failstate is a ripping listen. One of the album’s catchiest numbers. Then Empires Lost to Time keeps that trend going with a thrilling pace and some startlingly strong riffs. Before the slower paced, effects heavy and clean sounding finale of In Truth Divided wraps things up with power and poise.
After a class start to the album, it gets a bit bogged down with a few middling efforts before well and truly recovering with a top shelf second half. Some of the album’s best bits of music come nearer the end but it’s not like it’s a struggle to get there either!
Dark Tranquillity – Moment Full Track Listing:
3. Identical to None
4. The Dark Unbroken
5. Remain in the Unknown
7. Ego Deception
8. A Drawn Out Exit
9. Eyes of the World
11. Empires Lost to Time
12. In Truth Divided
Dark Tranquility - Moment (Century Media Records)
The Final Score - 7.5/10