(9/10) At The Gates belongs to the spearhead of Swedish death metal, hailing from Gothenburg. Records like ‘Slaughter of the Soul’ belong to the timeless classics of death metal and it was the comeback album ‘At War WithReality’ that brought this legendary outfit back on the plate.
‘To Drink From the Night Itself’ is a concept album that’s build on the epic novel ‘The Aesthetics of Resistance’, of German writer Peter Weiss. The storyline is about Resistance against the Nazi regime during the 30’s and 40’s and how art as a tool for resistance and revolution. The band and especially Lidberg was very much inspired by the story and what art means to them.
The German entitled intro ‘Der Widerstand’ (German for ‘the resistance’) is an acoustic but oppressive intro that leads to the title track. ‘To Drink From the Night Itself’ is a raging death metal song that’s build on Tomba’s growls and the excellent guitar work, done by Martin Larsson and Jonas Stålhammer and it is the latter that replaced At The Gates founding member Anders Björler who left the band in 2017. In that sense, if you will, you can see this album as another re-start. Was it the last album that ended a period of 19 years of absence it’s ‘To Drink From the Night Itself’, that’s done in a new line-up.
At The Gates could handle the change in a good manner and what made things easier is the fact that the four band At The Gates and Stålhammer were no strangers to each other for more than 30 years. The ‘new guy’ was integrated rather quickly even though he joined the band quite late when it comes to the songwriting process.
The quintet plays extreme music and regardless if they push the pedal to the metal or place a foot on the break, At The Gates, also in the new setup, never loses control over songs. It’s the magic combination of harsh death metal, edgy growls, furious guitars and a certain affinity for traditional heavy metal that makes At The Gates to a pretty unique death metal outfit, something that helped them to get to where they are today.
Songs like “Seas of Starvation’ and the brutal ‘In Death They Shall Burn’ are excellent death metal anthems and it’s ‘In Nameless Sleep’ that features even a guest appearance of no less than Kind Diaming axeman Andy LaRocque.
‘To Drink From the Night Itself’ is another terrific delivery of one of the most influential Swedish death metal band. At The Gates belongs to the Champions League of detah metal and the new album underlines this is a strong fashion.
02. To Drink From The Night Itself
05. Daggers Of Black Haze
06. The Chasm
07. In Nameless Sleep
08. The Colours Of The Beast
09. A Labyrinth Of Tombs
10. Seas Of Starvation
11. In Death They Shall Burn
12. The Mirror Black
Label: Century Media
Genre: Death Metal
Release Date EU: May 18th, 2018