Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.
Dark Tranquillity is Back With a New Album and 2 New Members Including Christopher Amott
Swedish melodic death metal veterans, legends or whatever you can call them at this point are back with a brand new album called Moment. After 4 years and the departure of longtime guitarist Niklas Sundin, one of the big 2 Swedish melodic death metal bands is back with a brand new album and me being one of the band’s biggest fans I knew I had to give this album a listen and review.Moment also marks the debut of a few new members. They are Johan Reinholdz, and Christopher Amott.
Christopher Amott Guitar Player for the Bands Armageddon and Dark Tranquillity
What is the Musical Style of the Album Moment?
Stylistically, Moment is similar to albums such as Fiction. The growling vocals by Mikael Stanne are still present and this should be good news for fans of the band’s earlier days. In case you are wondering, the other famous Swedish melodic death metal band that we are referring to is In Flames.
Consistency Has Been the Trademark of Dark Tranquillity's Career
Consistency has been the biggest positive attribute for Dark Tranquillity and it shows in this latest album of their career. Dark Tranquillity is entering the 5th decade of their existence. They did start work in 1989 as the band Septic Broiler and although they started in the last year of the 1980s, in my perspective if we look at their career from a numerical standpoint, they are in the 5th decade of work and have been active long before some metal fans were even born. Even when Dark Tranquillity has changed members which hasn’t been all that often, their musical quality does not suffer. We might run out of words trying to describe the greatness of these Swedish guys.
The Album Moment is a Very Mature Musical Album
Lyrically, the band once again explores the larger meaning of life. Where are we as a human race and where are we going? This is one of those questions that the song "Standstill" asks. Moment represents a very mature release for this band because the solos are never out of place and Mikael’s clean vocals are fresher if that makes any sense. Moment represents what has been on Dark Tranquillity’s albums since Projector back in 1999. Therefore, they have not changed drastically and changed at the same time. The way in which Dark Tranquillity has changed as a band is the fact that they now have a more modern sound. They are not just relying solely on heavy, melodic death metal with the same structure as we would have heard in 1995 or 1997. They are incorporating more clean vocal parts while not totally abandoning their roots. Though Moment does not really have any kind of electronic sound like Projector did.
“Standstill” tries to tell us that we are like strangers where we stand. We are at a crossroads not knowing where we will end up. It kind of may feel that way given the current state of affairs in the world what has happened recently.
"A Drawn Out Exit"
The album Momentstarts with the song “Phantom Days” with its philosophical lyrical approach which is a little challenging to interpret. “Identical to None” is a song that is trying to tell us that we are similar to no other person on the planet. The song is also trying to warn us to not be a prisoner to distorted thoughts and ideas that don’t really give us the true picture of life. “Remain in the Unknown” is a song that tries to tell us that in life there are many unanswered questions as some people fall into the delusion of certain aspects of life. “Ego Deception” is a song that tells us about how our ego deceives us if we allow it to. The ego can cause us to get angry as well.
“A Drawn Out Exit” starts out with a more progressive style with the bass line audible in this case. The song is trying to tell us that in life we tend to take our high and low moments for granted. There is no bliss in resisting what our true feelings are.
Final Thoughts About the Album Moment
“Eyes of the World” shows the maturation of the clean vocals of Mikael Stanne at the age of 46. When he experimented with clean vocals back in 1999 as a 25-year old man for the album Projector, his vocals were not this clean, and developed. They are well developed enough that even I can understand and sing along with them. Moment has been released 20 years after Dark Tranquillity’s weakest album Haven and while it may not be as good as albums such as Fiction, Moment is still an album that a true fan of Dark Tranquillity should still enjoy. These guys were able to come together even after the departure of their friend and founding member Niklas Sundin and create an album that still is good enough. Moment is like a musical album that when you bite into it, it is like a pizza that still tastes good even when it is cold.
© 2020 Ara Vahanian