Self referential while still forward thinking.

By now, this is a band that needs little to no introduction. With beginnings in the early 90s Swedish melodic death metal scene before breaking up due to a perceived lack of interest of both the band and the world at large, then dipping their toes into the comeback waters in 2008 before breaking back into being heavy metal darlings with a release in 2014.

Prancing delicately \before the oncoming onslaught, the album opens with soft instrumental ‘Der Widerstand’ ahead of the metal raging though with the title track, all swivelled eyed lunacy intact as At the Gates rip into proceedings quickly with a take-no-prisoners thrash approach.

After the band blaze through a couple more tracks ogf their trademark firebrand of metal, the first big change comes on the Gothic-tinged ‘Daggers of Black Haze’ that allows the music to breath a bit with clean guitar tones and piano to great effect as the song opens up, over a rumbling bassline that can hold your attention throughout most of the song.

So many times this has me lost in 90s musical nostalgia that I find myself checking what I am listening to and by which band, such is the nature of what is going on. ‘The Chasm’ and ‘A Labyrinth of Tombs’ so clearly ATG, all the while sounding like so many of their contemporaries, finishing on something that can only be described a cinematic with ‘The Mirror Black’, a short journey more so than a melodic death track.

These feelings make this such a hard album to judge. I love what the record provokes, while wanting something more from what I am hearing. It’s hard to say what that is. It seems to leave you hanging on the precipice for the duration, yearning for a time when metal could be this simple, fast and brutal all at once.

To Drink From the Night Itself has sent me back to listen to the first albums by At the Gates as well as The Haunted and middle period Entombed. Perhaps that is what the band were aiming for, an album so good that it is like a warm blanket on a cold night, self referential while still so forward thinking.

 

  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. Black Mirror