Dark Tranquillity
Moment


4.0
excellent

Review

by Trey STAFF
November 15th, 2020 | 394 replies


Release Date: 11/20/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: With two new guitarists, Dark Tranquillity seamlessly dive into an album of melancholic, atmospheric, metal that can only loosely be associated with standard melodic death metal.

Projector is easily my favorite Dark Tranquillity album. Projector was the album that found the band ditching the remains of their melodic death metal sound for a style that was all their own. It still had Mikael Stanne’s raspy death growl and plenty of guitar-driven melodies, but it also throttled the aggression and tempos while introducing keyboards, electronics, and clean singing – some fans hated it, but I loved it. I say this so you know where I’m coming from while discussing Moment. I don’t long for a return to their earlier sound. I don’t care that they haven’t really done a consistently aggressive album since Character. I love when they wallow in melancholy and plodding tempos. I think Mikael’s clean singing brings an emotional element to Dark Tranquility’s music that is missing when he simply growls through the majority of an album. The more you agree with those statements, the more you’ll probably find yourself loving Moment.

Moment opens with the first pre-release track, “Phantom Days”. Of all the songs on the album, “Phantom Days” is easily the most conventional – it is essentially the quintessential modern Dark Tranquillity song. It features the excellent dichotomy between guitar and keyboard melodies, Mikael Stanne’s raspy death growl, and energetic tempos during the verses juxtaposed with slower sections for the choruses – and despite the lack of any clean singing, the chorus is catchy as hell. The following two tracks follow a similar pattern, with “Transient” standing out the most due to its excellent guitar/keyboard melody during the choruses. The ringing harmonization between the three instruments basically makes that song for me, and was one of my early favorites. It definitely surprised me that the band chose “Phantom Days” and “Identical to None” for the first two pre-release songs when “Transient” was crammed between them and so much better. Either way, none of those songs really represent what Moment actually sounds like, so I guess it doesn’t matter.

It isn’t until the fourth track, “The Dark Unbroken”, that Moment really shows what it is all about. This is the point where the band drops into a mid-tempo groove; crafting melancholic atmospheres courtesy of Martin Brandstrom’s keyboards and electronics, and Mikael Stanne’s introspective lyrics delivered through both death growls and emotive cleans singing. Of course, the guitars are still there – courtesy of new guys Christopher Amott (ex-Arch Enemy) and Johan Reinholdz – but it seems like they’re more the backdrop than the main focus when it comes to melodies. Speaking of the new guys, if I hadn’t read that Moment featured two new guitarists, I would have never guessed. The seamlessness of their inclusion could be viewed as both a positive and a negative. It’s clearly a positive for fans that aren’t looking for any changes to Dark Tranquillity’s sound, but it’s also a negative that two powerhouses weren’t allowed any artistic freedom at all; having their individual personalities relegated to solos that are occasionally more shreddy than modern Dark Tranquillty is known for.

Maybe, though, there just wasn’t room on Moment for Christopher Amott’s aggressive style or Johan Reinholdz’s progressive tendencies when the majority of the album is so subdued and melancholic. With the exception of some energetic guitar solos like the one found on “The Dark Unbroken” or some darker riffs such as the one that dominates “Ego Deception”, Moment is a vehicle for Mikael Stanne’s vocals and Martin Brandstrom’s expertly crafted melodies and atmospheres – and that’s just fine with me. It’s that affection for darker, melancholic, atmospheres that helps make Moment feel like a modern version of Projector – now with more riffs, keyboards, and electronics.

Although it seems like the addition of Christopher Amott and Johan Reinhodz could have been the perfect time for the second coming of The Gallery, unsurprisingly, it was not to be. Instead Moment is more like the second coming of Projector pushed through the modern sound of Construct and Atoma. There is definitely a feeling of continuity between Moment and the previous two releases, but the riffier nature of the songs coupled with the darker, more morose, atmospheres and melodies help it to stand on its own and not just feel like more of the same. If you’ve been a fan of Dark Tranquillity’s sound for more than an album or two throughout the last twenty years, there’s going to be plenty here to keep you going. Moment feels like Dark Tranquillity finally focusing on the melancholic sound they’ve dabbled in, hinted at, but never felt comfortable diving entirely into – at least not since Projector.



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user ratings (165)
3.7
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
Willie
Moderator
November 15th 2020


18869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My rank: Projector > Damage Done > Construct > Fiction > Character > Moment

Digging: Violet Cold - Noir Kid

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
November 15th 2020


57472 Comments

Album Rating: 3.8

whoa, excited for this

Digging: HORSE the band - Your Fault

OmairSh
November 15th 2020


17241 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0 | Sound Off

And there's the review! The remastered version of POS' the Perfect Element is being released on the same day so I'll have plenty to keep me busy in November

Digging: My Sleeping Karma - Soma

Willie
Moderator
November 15th 2020


18869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

https://www.facebook.com/dtofficial/posts/219658796183699



There's going to be a Live Stream concert on the 21st where they play the entire album live from start to finish. The conversion rate has the 'ticket' at about $18 here in the US. The stream will be available from the 21st through the 30th. I'm definitely doing it.

Observer
Emeritus
November 15th 2020


8688 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice, im excited



Cant wait to see where ill place this in the discog, much less just listen to it initially.

Digging: Inanna - Converging Ages

Pikazilla
November 15th 2020


13369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Projector > Damage Done > Construct > Fiction > Character > Moment





Great ranking! I actually agree that Projector is their best from their "newer" era and Fiction is freaking overrated.

MeatWolf
November 15th 2020


177 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I really don't like Projector but the three singles were all quite decent. So let's see.

Kingdok
November 15th 2020


110 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Review is upping my hype levels. Not a big fan of Projector, but I did think Atoma was pretty awesome.

Crysis
Emeritus
November 15th 2020


17511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Moment is a vehicle for Mikael Stanne’s vocals and Martin Brandstrom’s expertly crafted melodies and atmospheres – and that’s just fine with me.




god dammit why



I'm not asking for a second Gallery. I know they are so far beyond that sound it's never coming back. But you get two lights-out guitarists, one of which has a penchant for progressive shit and the other of which can flesh out a more heavy side they haven't had in years and they do nothing? That sounds like they didn't have much to do with the songwriting. Who is credited mostly?



This isn't "Mikael, Martin and friends" so I'm a bit disheartened reading this review to hear that the band has embraced those tendencies even further. I'm sure it will be good but c'mon guys this sounds like wasted potential. Saying there wasn't room for Johan and Chris to add their influence because Mikael and Martin were off fucking about is disingenuous - if they wanted their influences here they would have found room to bake them into the album's core sound. Instead you make it sound like they gave them a solo or two and then shut the rest down.



I'm rambling like an old man who doesn't understand technology and I'm aware of that so I'll shut up now. Will still listen and for what seems like the 30th time slap a lazy 3.5 on it and say "solid DT yeah bois keep it going".

Crysis
Emeritus
November 15th 2020


17511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

coupled with the darker, more morse, atmospheres and melodies




morose?

Toondude10
November 15th 2020


14327 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Crysis why haven't you made a new gif avatar of the new Krallice album yet?



can't wait for this album to drop btw

Crysis
Emeritus
November 15th 2020


17511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Two reasons: no time and also honestly i had no clue they released a new record

Kusangii
November 15th 2020


3025 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Still looking forward to hear this but yeah the expectations have kinda declined now... I agree with Crysis a lot. I just can't see how their sound would NOT benefit from Chris and Johan having a bigger input on the record. They don't have to change their core sound or make anything crazy, but having them involved with some individual ideas would probably only make things better and more diverse, rather than the opposite.

Willie
Moderator
November 15th 2020


18869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

--But you get two lights-out guitarists, one of which has a penchant for progressive shit and the other of which can flesh out a more heavy side they haven't had in years and they do nothing? That sounds like they didn't have much to do with the songwriting. --

I didn't get a sheet that gave individual song credits, but here is some good quotes from Mikael:

-So going into this album, knowing that we have Chris [Amott] and Johan [Reinholdz], we had to incorporate their talents and way of playing and thinking into it. But we also had a lot of songs ready.

- Martin Brändström has grown into this role even more with this album. He took on a lot more responsibility when it comes to making sure that everyone is on the same page, keeping the songs focused and strong. He made sure the songs kept to the rules and ideas that we are about.

-Sometimes Johan would do something that we thought was fantastic but didn’t fit, or sometimes Chris would do something fantastic, but it wasn’t really D.T. – there’s this weird policing that goes along with it.




--This isn't "Mikael, Martin and friends" so I'm a bit disheartened reading this review to hear that the band has embraced those tendencies even further. --

It kind of is now. They lost two more founding members when they lost their guitar players. It's now Mikael and Anders (drums) from the original line-up. The next up is Martin (Keyboards) from 1999. After that the bass player is less than five years with the band, and the two guitarists are brand new. Maybe they use them for the next album, but maybe not. With Mikael and Martin having free reign we might dive deeper into that electro melodeath sound.



--Instead you make it sound like they gave them a solo or two and then shut the rest down.--

See the quote above from Mikael about Martin essentially shutting the rest down...



--morose?--

Sullen, melancholic, sad... kind of that same feel they had running through Projector. This has that same feeling, and the same vocal-centric focus, but a lot of the melodies are created by keys this time and not the guitars. Even the ones the guitars do often have keyboard augmentation.

Willie
Moderator
November 15th 2020


18869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh yeah... let's credit the interview I quoted:



http://deadrhetoric.com/features/dark-tranquillity-moments-in-time/

Ecnalzen
November 15th 2020


9728 Comments


The morose comment was on your spelling in the review, I think, not the meaning of the word

I need to catch up with this band. I only have Character and Gallery so far

Willie
Moderator
November 15th 2020


18869 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

--The morose comment was on your spelling in the review, I think, not the meaning of the word--

Oh shit. I couldn't catch that it was spelled wrong even when it was pointed out to me. Ha ha.

I didn't think he was looking for the meaning of the word. I took it as he was wanting me to expand on that sentence... Give a little more depth or context or whatever.



--I need to catch up with this band. I only have Character and Gallery so far--

Have you heard the other albums, though? You only own the two most aggressive albums in their discography, so if you haven't heard the other ones you'll be a little surprised.





Panzerchrist
November 15th 2020


519 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excited to hear this. Singles felt very strange isolated, but I think within context of the full album flow they'll coalesce a lot nicer. I kinda imagined Amott's involvement would've pushed them to a more riff-oriented approach but I'm all for DT defaulting to atmospherics. They do it well.

Crysis
Emeritus
November 15th 2020


17511 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The morose comment was on your spelling in the review, I think, not the meaning of the word




Bingo!



Thanks for the quotes on that interview, and you're right this band has essentially boiled down to two people now, which is a bit of a shame. Their rejecting of ideas outside their "tried and true" sound is almost alarming and is exactly what leads to a decline in quality. They can take what Chris and Johan write and make it into DT, they don't have to reject their ideas outright and be like "nope doesn't fit into Martin's vision" because that's exactly what led into their last few albums sounding pretty much the same. Who cares who is left from the original lineup, part of lineup changes is evolving your sound alongside the members you pick up along the way, not shutting the original members in their own room to write the songs while the new guys have precious little input. Look at Insomnium - their sound changed dramatically once they lost members and brought new ones in. They allowed their new members to bring themselves into the band's songwriting, but are still very much Insomnium in sound. Why can't DT do that? Clearly it can be a good thing considering how much people love Insomnium's new stuff.



They don't take chances anymore, they don't write truly brilliant songs anymore, they just go through the motions in the studio and then engage in heavy touring. I'm nearly convinced at this point that they purposefully write most of their songs in way that they are easier to play live/more conducive to their live act.



In my opinion they haven't written a song that was truly, genuinely outstanding since Character/Fiction.

Pikazilla
November 15th 2020


13369 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'd take Construct over Fiction any day tbh.



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