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Album Review: Dark Tranquility – Moment

Swedish metal mainstays Dark Tranquility fail to illuminate on Moment…

Let’s set the scene: you’re out and you hear At the Gates playing. You turn to your mum and say, can we have melodeath?” She responds, we have a melodeath at home…” What awaits you at home is a Dark Tranquillity record. Disappointment ensues. This pretty much sets the tone for the last three decades of this Swedish melodic death metal troupe’s existence. 

They were once, alongside In Flames and At The Gates, considered to be one third of the holy trinity of this stuff. However, as At The Gates soared in popularity and In Flames went on to sound awful, Dark Tranquillity have just kind of hovered in musical purgatory, trudging the endless middle of the road. With their 30-year anniversary approaching, 12th album Moment is the ideal opportunity for them to turn this on its head, but sadly they miss the mark. 

Initially, the introduction of two new guitarists to their line-up has massively refreshed their sound and for the first couple of songs Moment really packs a punch with some razor sharp riffs. As the record progresses, however, they lapse back into old habits, switching to gothic style rock, with oddly-placed synths and grating clean vocals. It’s incredibly jarring and makes for a disjointed listening experience when they’re going full throttle one moment only to throw the anchor out the next and completely switch genres. 

For long-time fans, who’ve adapted to Dark Tranquillity’s familiar musical pendulum, Moment will be an enjoyable listen, as it’s more of the same theatrical songwriting that the band have perfected over the years. However, therein lies the problem: it’s more of the same and offers nothing you can’t find on any of their previous records.

Verdict: 2/5

For Fans Of: In Flames, At The Gates, Shadows Fall

Moment is released on November 20 via Century Media.

READ THIS: 11 bands who wouldn’t be here without At The Gates

Posted on November 17th 2020, 12:42p.m.
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