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Review of the Album "Atoma" by Swedish Melodic Death Metal Band Dark Tranquillity

Updated on October 14, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.


The Significance of the Album Atoma

Atoma is more than just the 2016 studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band Dark Tranquillity. It is also the last album to feature founding guitarist Niklas Sundin. I was a little shocked to find out on June 19, 2020 that he has quit the band.

Atoma Is an Album That Marks the Band's Biggest Member Departure In Years

11 studio albums in, what we have here is a combination of the band's earlier style with a modern twist and then we still have the clean vocals which started with the album Projector back in 1999. Of course, Projector was the last album with Fredrik Johansson who was asked to leave because he wanted to focus more on his family life and day job. Now, we have Niklas Sundin, the original guitarist leaving a band that he had been with since 1989 when he was just 15 years old. I am confident that Dark Tranquillity will still be a solid band without him.

A picture of a large atom with several nuclei in the middle.
A picture of a large atom with several nuclei in the middle. | Source

An Observation About the Album Atoma

Atoma has the word atom in it and atoms are building blocks in which everything is made of. There's that saying that “everything is energy” and that is literally the case.

Bassist Anders Iwers Who Also Played for the Band Tiamat


About the First Song Encircled

How does Atoma begin? The album starts with the song called Encircled and lyrically it may as well apply to what the world is facing right now. Are we running out of time to deal with what is facing the collective consciousness of the planet? Atoma also features the entry of bassist Anders Iwers who is the older brother of former In Flames bassist Peter Iwers. Iwers replaced former bassist Martin Henriksson who retired due to the loss of passion for playing music. It does not affect the quality of the album Atoma at all. Encircled may as well be a song about the fact that there are times that we are surrounded by these “demons” of life and that they can be very hard to break through and conquer.


The Significance of the Song Atoma

“Atoma” the title track of this album is a song lyrically stating the concept of fairness. The song is also about how humans can drive themselves insane, thus leading to their fall. It is often said by so many of us that life isn't fair but is that really the case? It sure seems like life is unjust but the band brings up the concept of fairness for further thought.

An Analysis of Atoma After Three Full Listens

“Forward Momentum” is a song that lyrically about marching forward and leaving behind what is broken and forgotten so that we can take steps to creating a newer and better life. Lyrically, Atoma builds on the two previous albums We Are the Void and Construct. Neutrality which is the name of the 4th song can be the stance that should be taken by people and nations in some cases. The band's name of Dark Tranquillity isn't totally accurate because their music isn't dark and gloomy, but melodic death metal that offers creative and highly intelligent lyrics that really force us to think about some of the most pressing issues of our time. Three times listening through this album Atoma is one of those albums that may be an acquired taste for some fans because it is not like their first few albums with the fast melodic death metal style that they were used to hearing. “Clearing Skies” is a melodic yet refreshing song in a way because of the riffing. Is Atoma a better album than Construct? Initial thoughts by me will say yes. This is a good way for guitarist Niklas Sundin to have departed from this band and at least he can feel good about the fact that Atoma is not as weak as the album Haven, not that it is a terrible album but Atoma is a musically better album overall.

Rate the 2016 Studio Album Atoma By Dark Tranquillity

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This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2020 Ara Vahanian


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