Gothenburg, Sweden’s Melodic Death Metal titans AT THE GATES have not lost a step. It has been a solid three years since At War With Reality and they are back with their sixth and dare I say aggressive as ever offering To Drink From the Night Itself (out now, Century Media Records). The disc opens with “Der Widerstand” a nice short 90 second intro track which smoothly transitions into the true album opener “To Drink From the Night Itself”. This truly kicks things off and sets the tone with its powerful opening riffs. Vocalist Tomas Lindberg wastes no time asserting his vocal abilities as he lets out a deep guttural growl before ripping into the actual lyrics within the first thirty seconds.
The band does such a smooth job transitioning into “A Stare Bound In Stone” that it feels like a continuation of the previous song, keeping the same intensity while still being different. While the record may not be flowing with guitar solos, when they do happen new lead guitarist Jonas Stålhammar really lets loose and shows why he was brought in to replace founding member Anders Björler. Jonas really shows off his skills on “Daggers of Black Haze” which features a wonderful acoustic interlude roughly halfway through the track before Jonas delivers a short yet very powerful solo which leads right back to the main riff of the song.
The group then rips into slightly faster paced “The Chasm”, one of many tracks that highlights longtime drummer Adrian Erlandsson’s incredible playing ability. Clocking in at only three minutes and twenty two seconds, the track showcases the band’s attitude of “no unnecessary bullshit in a song”. There are no random samples or interludes or any of that. Just all killer no filler straight up melodic death metal with yet another phenomenal guitar solo at the end of the track.
At just under 45 minutes in length this album falls into the perfect length for its genre; not too long yet not too shirt but still leaves the listener hungry for more. While other bands in the Gothenburg scene have tweaked their sound with each successive disc, AT THE GATES have stuck with what they know and only made subtle yet necessary changes with each album. To Drink From the Night Itself will only cement the band’s status as the true kings of the Swedish Melodic Death Metal scene.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “To Drink From the Night Itself”, “A Stare Bound In Stone”, “Daggers of Black Haze”, “The Chasm”, “The Mirror Black”
-BRIAN “TORCH” IDELL