At the Gates – To Drink from the Night Itself

7/10

We all knew the story. At the Gates was the death metal-band from Gothenburg that broke up just as they had released their eternal masterpiece, the timeless classic Slaughter of the Soul (1995), and were bound to never return. And as the years passed by, surely enough Slaughter of the Soul went on to be a monumental inspiration for the melodic death metal genre, the untouchable milestone all the other bands tried so hard to reach, and as In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and Arch Enemy toured the world, At the Gates remained comfortably in their grave, being mere but a ghost eternally casting its shadow upon their succesful successors.

In 2008, all of that changed, as At the Gates reunited for a quick tour on which they would perform their classic songs of the 90’s. It felt impossible, but it happened, and I could hardly believe my eyes as i gazed upon the stage at Sweden Rock Festival 2008 and saw Thomas Lindberg, backed by the brothers Björler, growling the lyrics of classics such as Blinded by Fear, Cold and Kingdom Gone and my sunburnt shoulders were painfully thrown side to side in the unavoidable and absolutely wonderful mosh pit. And then it would be over, the Björlers return to their main project The Haunted and At the Gates would be laid to rest once more, instead of taking upon the unwinnable challenge of creating a follow-up to Slaugher of the Soul.

But oh were we wrong once again. First there was a tour, and then more gigs followed, and finally, a new album was announced. Nobody knew really what to expect from At War With Reality when it came out in 2014, but we all knew we couldn’t wait to hear it. At first it got smashing reviews, but eventually I started to hear people moaning about it being too safe, and somewhat of a Slaughter of the Soul-copycat. My own feelings were sort of tied in between these opinions, I can still feel it wasn’t the world sensation I never dared to hope for, but still it was nowhere near a disapointment since it was still a really good album, which only real problems was its lenght that stretched over 15 songs. Since then, At the Gates has gone trough an important change in the line up. Founding member Anders Björler left the band and has been replaced with Jonas Stålhammar. It is now 2018, and the band is releasing the follow up to the comeback-album with a new lead guitar-player instead of one of the founding members. The band does not have all the odds in their favour this time.

So much for the story, but how about To Drink from the Night Itself musically? Well, much like At War With Reality, the band has aimed at the Slaughter of the Soul-sound with all its dark, twisted guitar melodies, intensely growling vocals, and the melancholy feeling dripping all over it. Still I get the feeling that it all comes from the heart and has no real attempt to try to catch the old sound. It sounds quite beautiful, and thankfully, the band got satisfied with only 12 tracks this time. And the songs? I would never hold against them to compare them with the eternal Slaughter of the Soul-tracks, but they are definately comparable and maybe also a little stronger than At War With Reality, which is far from dissatisfying, especially since the departure of Anders Björler. The catchy title track, the dark Palace of Lepers all leading up to the beautiful closing track The Mirror Black with its wonderous strings charmes the hell out of me. It sounds dark, beautiful and twisted!

As a whole, To Drink from the Night Itself is a strong album that sounds like the At the Gates I fell in love with. Who could ask for more? I’m definately buying this album fysically, and is already looking forward to hearing it again!

To Drink from the Night Itself

Band: At the Gates
Title: To Drink from the Night Itself
Label: Century Media Records
Date of release: 18/5-18
Time: 44,41
Rate: 7/10
Stand out track: To Drink from the Night Itself

At the Gates – To Drink from the Night Itself

May 18, 2018

7/10 We all knew the story. At the Gates was the death metal-band from Gothenburg that broke up just as they had released their eternal masterpiece, the timeless classic Slaughter of the Soul (1995), and were bound to never return. And as the years passed by, surely enough Slaughter of the Soul went on to be a monumental inspiration for the melodic death metal genre, the untouchable milestone all the other bands tried so hard to reach, and as In Flames, Dark Tranquillity and Arch Enemy toured the world, At the Gates remained comfortably in their grave, being mere but a ghost eternally casting its shadow upon their succesful successors. In 2008, all of that changed, as At the Gates reunited for a quick tour on which they would perform their classic songs of the 90’s. It felt impossible, but it happened, and I could hardly believe my eyes as i gazed upon the stage at Sweden Rock Festival 2008 and saw Thomas Lindberg, backed by the brothers Björler, growling the lyrics of classics such as Blinded by Fear, Cold and Kingdom Gone and my sunburnt shoulders were painfully thrown side to side in the unavoidable and absolutely wonderful mosh…

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