This band is not only At the Gates, they have broken through the portcullis and have laid waste to the castle if this new album is anything to go by. As I have mentioned in some of my recent reviews of Scandinavian metal releases this year and last, there seems to be a movement in the metal scene whereby a progressive sound is penetrating deep into the darkness that is death and black metal, it’s awesome! At the Gates have totally crushed it with their latest work To Drink from the Night Itself to be released on 18th May through Century Media – a label which is a Metal powerhouse. This album not only equals the critically acclaimed return At War with Reality in 2014, it surpasses it… The album is saturated and dripping with bloody emotion, technicality, darkness, and rhythm. The legends are back…
Some of my favourite tracks include;
The album starts off with an instrumental intro – firstly a hauntingly clean riff with some operatic vocals overlaid, halfway through a heavy drum comes pounding down and violins are introduced, before finishing up with a flurry of Violin and a rumble to let you know things are about to get heavy…
‘To Drink from the Night Itself’
The title track erupts into classic At the Gates riffs and melody right of the bat, no messing about. The unmistakable sound of vocalist Tomas Lindberg: guttural, dry but clear enough to sing along to the lyrics and the ultra-catchy chorus. An awesome start to the record and an indication that the band are continuing the triumphant return to melodic death metal.
‘Daggers of Black Haze’
This track begins with a piano intro and the pace is generally slower but it’s brutally heavy and emotional. The sound is gothic, with interspersed clean medieval guitar riffs erupting into a soaring solo. The band makes a great achievement of bringing both distorted and clean sounds together here. Another catchy song to nod your head along to.
‘A Labyrinth of Tombs’
Ultra heavy and melodic, this track switches effortlessly from blast beats to rhythmic pounding, high tempo to slow and sludgy guitar work, solos, and high/low tones – it has it all. My favourite from the album, it’s atmospheric, crushing and haunting.
‘The Mirror Black’
The outro for the album brings much of the same from the intro. Some clean guitar work, heavy distorted tones, slow and purposeful with guttural vocals. Orchestral strings and vocals closing the song out. The Intro and Outro like bookends at either side of a brutal and bloody, emotional, gothic masterpiece created by the masterful artists that are At the Gates.
Mark the 18th of May in your diary, the day At the Gates returns with the pinnacle of their work so far… in my opinion, anyway!