At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself
Released: May 18th, 2018
Tomas Lindberg // Vocals
Jonas Björler // Bass
Adrian Erlandsson // Drums
Martin Larsson // Rhythm guitar
Jonas Stålhammar // Lead guitar
Since the return of At The Gates, they’ve managed to carve themselves back into the metal world as if they never left. Their comeback album At War With Reality was in my opinion, every bit as good as their classic undisputed masterpiece Slaughter Of The Soul. So it brings me much joy to see the band continuing on from their more recent opus to give the world another album.
The endlessly amazing To Drink From The Night Itself.
Opening with ‘Der Widerstand’ sees At The Gates caress your ears with piano keys before introducing haunting female vocals; slowly bringing you into the heaviness to come. The title track follows the gothic flavoured opener by holding absolutely nothing back as it assaults you with a barrage of hypnotic drumming and vintage At The Gates riffs. It cannot be understated how potent this song is, it’s just begging to be heard in a live setting.
Subsequently ‘A Stare Bound In Stone’ opens with the kind of guitar part that attempts to make your head fall off from sheer brutality. Having more in common with their early more straight death metal influenced work. It sits in the perfect balance between light and dark, sounding beautiful and yet devastatingly crushing at the same time.
‘Daggers Of Black Haze’ fast becomes my standout track of the entire album. Slowing things down just a tad. The song reintroduces the gothic piano before slaughtering your soul (see what I did there) with sheer beautiful brutality. Every element is allowed to breathe, the rhythm guitar section being a particular highlight as it weaves itself over Tomas Lindberg‘s mesmerizing vocal patterns.
Nearing the end of the album. The band smashes you in the face with ‘A Labyrinth of Tombs’ and ‘Seas of Starvation’ with the former dragging you straight into the void, kicking and screaming as (insert lead singers name again) drowns you in the darkness. While the latter contains some of the best guitar work in the entire album – the kind that lays waste to your mind and body with melodic death metal greatness. It will leave a shit-eating grin etched on your face permanently.
Ending with the delightful stomp of ‘The Mirror Black’ is the perfect end note. Gushing with an extreme level of grandeur, it takes you deep into the gothic abyss the band has managed to weave into the album as a whole. It just pulverizes you with heaviness by the time the violins kick in and bring the album to its end. You’re already hitting the replay button.
Overall this album might be seen by some as a step down after the masterpiece that is At War With Reality but it’s brimming with fresh ideas and the kind of creative risks that could pay off endlessly in subsequent releases. Taken by itself, To Drink From The Night Itself will do more than enough to feed your hunger.
There might be many pretenders, but there is still only one At The Gates.
At The Gates – To Drink From The Night Itself tracklisting
1. Der Widerstand
2. To Drink From The Night Itself
3. A Stare Bound In Stone
4. Palace Of Lepers
5. Daggers Of Black Haze
6. The Chasm
7. In Nameless Sleep
8. The Colours Of The Beast
9. A Labyrinth Of Tombs
10. Seas Of Starvation
11. In Death They Shall Burn
12. The Mirror Black