Dark Tranquillity returns on Friday with a new album titled Moments. This new album is reflective, thought provoking and adds a new addition to the music by way of Christopher Amott and Johan Reinholdz.
When I first heard Moments, I was immediately left with the impression that this new album holds a much darker feel than past releases. So much that I even asked the band if there was something pivotal that caused the shift in the sound. The response I received from Mikael Stanne was “There has to be many different factors obviously. The way it is written originally, the way we interpreted songs and wrote or changed them in the studio effects the way they came out. They way it felt during the writing and recording matters. This was a different year and last year when we started writing we had a idea of what is was going to be but that changed along the way, not necessarily because of this year but for many different reasons. It is darker but maybe because we focused more and really tried to get that into it and we spent more time producing this one, demoing and getting things right. I think maybe it is us realizing our potential in a way to fulfill it in a way that comes across easier.”
Moments is an album written on the concept of how things can change, change how you view the world and ultimately the direction of your life. Which is very fitting for 2020 and was not the intention of how the album originally was conceptualized, but aligned by sheer serendipity. Even the track names add to the concept of the album, without even listening to it.
When it came to the instruments involved with creating this album the guitars are the definite foundation to the tracks which is evident with many of the melodies performed through each track. This album is also heavy on keyboard tracks. When it came to the vocals, Stanne steps up with clean vocals across many tracks most prominent in The Dark Unbroken, which for me always feels unexpected when the growls are often more present. Don’t be concerned that he went all clean either, there are ample amounts of growling on this album.
The progression of the album builds a feeling of something bigger than simply listening to an album. It feels large, dramatic and tortured all while remaining a bit understated. I enjoy how they balanced each track and how at the end the full album comes together as a complete work that was meant to be one package.
I’ve always enjoyed the music of Dark Tranquillity, but not to the point I’ve been overly impressed or felt that they were a band that should be a staple in my playlists. Moments has changed that for me. With this album I feel more connected to their music than I ever have and I feel this album calling to me. I don’t know if it’s how the music flows, the delivery of the vocals or that I recognize my own life changes through the lyrics, but this album changes the way I see this band. The depth in this album is sure to resonate with many people, especially with the year we’ve all had.
In summary, I think listeners should be ready to embark on a new journey with Dark Tranquillity and go into this listening experience with no preconceived expectations to fully feel this album. Moments feels like the start of something new.
Moments was recorded at Nacksving Studios and Rogue Music by Martin Brändström and then mixed/mastered by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios.
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 2020-11-20
Best Tracks: Identical to None, Transient, Standstill, Eyes of the World