At the Gates is one of the more familiar names floating around the melodic death metal world and rightly so. Since 1990, they have maintained almost the same line-up and have a distinct sound that has set them in to the highest echelons of Swedish metal.
Not a band to rush releases, To Drink from the Night Itself is the 6th full length from the Gothenburg titans and it’s a worthy release. The vocals continue to become more polished especially in comparison to their earliest albums and take on a more melodic feel with cleaner production. They have also experimented more with core elements, although not in an off-putting way. This is reflected in both the vocals and the guitars and its done with enough moderation that a long-time fan won’t cast aside the album, but someone who was previously not a fan may discover a new taste for the band. It’s a great time to revisit the band if you’re someone who hasn’t gotten much excitement from them in the past.
Starting the album off is a beautiful string composition immediately followed by the barrage of classic Swedish melodeath right in your face. Intense drums and loud, powerful guitars that occasionally break into epic solos, get your blood flowing and of course, all the catchy choruses that you’re going to be yelling out in your car, or at random metalheads on the street.
As with all of the greats of the genre, it’s easy to envision the obligatory mosh pit when you crank one of their albums. At the Gates is no exception and they throw 11 fast paced songs at you compelling you to go full throttle in the pit. As witnessed in the last 28 years, At the Gates is a powerhouse that is here to stay and continue to produce high quality melodeath that doesn’t shy away from new tricks. Let’s just hope they don’t make us wait 4 years again.
Favorite Track: To Drink from the Night Itself
Label: Century Media
Release Date: May 18, 2018
FFO: in Flames, Dark Tranquility, Amon Amarth
Originally written for VM Underground