Welcome to instalment number eighteen of my 2020 ‘Album of the Year Top 30 countdown’. In my family, for many reasons, the number thirteen has been very lucky, so I never subscribe to the ‘unlucky for some’ mantra that accompanies this double-digit. Let’s hope that today’s recipient of my number 13 slot feels the same way.

As always, forgive me as I want to give my normal reminder to anyone new to this series, to check out the links at the bottom of the post to find out who made the cut, from 30 down to 14, as well as my lists from previous years too.

Number 13

Dark Tranquillity


Century Media Records

Score Of Much Metal: 94%

After a couple of days where the picks were less well-known gems, the choice today should come as absolutely no shock at all for longer-term readers and those that know me personally. What might be shocking is the fact that such an incredible album finds itself outside my personal top 10 this year. But that’s testament to the sheer depth of brilliant music that has been released during 2020. In any other year, I think I’m safe to say that ‘Moment’ by Dark Tranquillity would have slotted into a higher position.

One factor to this placing has to be the relatively late release this year. Whilst I have had several months to digest other albums, I have literally had ‘Moment’ for a few weeks only, and via a promo stream as well. It has meant that I have yet to let the music marinate with me, like others have. In time, I may feel that I have made a huge mistake, but for now, this placing feels right.

Having said that, I am comfortable in saying that ‘Moment’ is slowly becoming one of my very favourites within the Dark Tranquillity back catalogue, building momentum each time I listen to it. In my review, I suggested that there may be better records in their back catalogue but there’s a distinct possibility, when the dust settles, that I may have to rethink that assertion. Watch this space…

What I  wrote at the time:

“…the twelfth of their lengthy career, is entitled ‘Moment’ and it sees the Swedes in a rich vein of form yet again. It also sees the band adding two permanent guitarists to the fold in the form of Christopher Amott (ex-Arch Enemy) and Johan Reinholdz (Andromeda).

Despite the changes in personnel, there’s a great chemistry and they all put in a quality shift. As a result, ‘Moment’ feels to be the perfect follow-up to ‘Atoma’ because it builds on the elements explored within that record, whilst pushing ever so slightly in different ways too. When Dark Tranquillity produce music of the quality seen here, it’s no wonder that they have long been one of my favourite bands.

If you are not immediately entranced by ‘Phantom Days’, then this band are simply not for you. It’s a heavy, groovy, melodic anthem that calls to mind the ‘Haven’ era of the band. 

There are almost certainly those within the metal community who will deride Dark Tranquillity for being too melodic, too safe, too commercial-sounding. That is an argument that may have some merit, were it not for the fact that this music has such a rich vein of honesty and sincerity running through it. The songs have been created because that’s what these guys wanted to create. There’s no quest for fame or notoriety, just a love of music. Their music. And in 2020, this is the music that Dark Tranquillity wanted to make. And I love it. 

Most of all, what ‘Moment’ does is underline the fact that Dark Tranquillity remain one of the most consistent, most reliable, and most enjoyable bands within the Scandinavian melodic death metal scene. Rightly so, too, because there’s a magic about this band that’s hard to articulate.”

Read the full review here.

The list this year so far…

Number 14

Number 15

Number 16

Number 17

Number 18

Number 19

Number 20

Number 21

Number 22

Number 23

Number 24

Number 25

Number 26

Number 27

Number 28

Number 29

Number 30

If you’ve missed my lists from previous years, you can check them out here: