Long before At War With Reality marked a new beginning for At The Gates, their legacy had been long since solidified. Their classic Slaughter of the Soul was the pinnacle of Gothenburg’s iconic melodeath sound and The Red In The Sky Is Ours might not be talked about nearly as much, but it is held in similar high regard.
In 2017 we heard of the departure of founding guitarist Anders Bjorler. However disappointing it may be, vocalist Tomas Lindberg was committed to sticking with this collective. Enter 2018 and To Drink From The Night Itself.
The band picks up where it left off five years ago. Not many fans would say that this doesn’t authentically sound like At The Gates. After a short intro the band hits you with the punchy title track; a reference to the title drops the band into a flurry of riffs and Lindberg’s screams. This song itself feels like a b-side to Slaughter and nearly the closest the band comes to replicating their sound on that disc.
“The Chasm” hits with d-beat bite and hearkens back to time spent with Disfear and listening to a bunch of Discharge and Anti-Cimex. Drummer Adrian Erlandsson and guitarists Martin Larsson and Jonas Stalhammer all play off each other as Lindberg inserts hardcore barking on top of this wonderful mix.
“In Nameless Sleep” is a powerful showcase of technicality and the guitar solos almost feel at times like they were written by fellow countryman and neoclassical guitar legend, Andy LaRocque. “Palace of Lepers” is an overall dirge into what makes the band who they are with riffs and furious aplomb. It’s one of the few show stopping tracks on this disc that will get the listener heavily involved.
For all of its positives, To Drink From The Night Itself is a fairly uneven affair with lots of what feels like filler,a few songs doing very little to differentiate themselves from others. At The Gates can still write some great songs, but album craftsmanship is severely lacking. They more closely resemble The Haunted in terms of the unevenness of this record. Fans of the band will find things to enjoy here, but not nearly as much as they would have hoped.
(released May 18, 2018 on Century Media Records)
Heavy Music Headquarters Rating:
Watch At The Gates – “Daggers Of Black Haze” Video