Vera : After the comeback album ’At War With Reality’, Swedish At The Gates has broached a second youth. Members even started a side project The Lurking Fear, but in the meantime also new songs for the main band were written. That outfit happens to be one of the echelons of the so-called Gothenburg sound, more precisely melodic death metal with an opulence of magnificent energetic guitar skills.
On the other hand the band also had to accept the departure of guitarist Anders Björler. This was taken care of by his brother Jonas in the writing process (together with vocalist Tomas Lindberg) and Jonas Stålhammer does not only have the perfect fitting name, but also his capacities to replace Anders as musician were ace. ‘To Drink From The Night Itself’ is a metaphor referring to dive into the essence of art and being creative. Lindberg found inspiration for his lyrics in a bulky novel ‘The Aesthetics Of Resistance’ from Peter Weiss and we all know that the man does not skate on thin ice. In three studios, under supervision of producer Russ Russell, this sixth studio album of the sympathetic Swedes came into being.
Twelve compact songs really have a finger on the pulse in this lively, melodic death metal with excellent guitar skills of Martin Larsson and newbee Jonas. Lindberg adds his well-known hoarse, slightly hysteric vocals as usual to this instrumental tightness. Thus songs like the title track and ‘A Stare Bound In Stone’ are already eternalized in catchy video clips. Cut loose and leave no stone unturned are the essence of these tunes. Our favourite happens to be the one in which they slacken down pace, called ‘Daggers Of Black Haze’ with piano intro, fervent mid-paced epic grandness and sure-fire guitar soloing. This compelling song is a nice break between songs with familiar speed and energy. ‘In Nameless Sleep’ is relished with guitar eminence of Andy LaRocque (King Diamond), while the intense ‘The Colours Of The Beast’ happens to be worth mentioning too. At The Gates serves his fans promptly, with only the atmospheric and wealthy orchestrated occluding track ‘The Mirror Black’ as adventurous sidestep. Fans of the band can purchase this blindly!