Monday, 17 December 2018

At The Gates "Slaughter Of The Soul" (1995)

Another musical journey comes to an end! It has been well worth the time and Ive come to understand why this band are so revered. They sit like a jewel in the heart of Melodic Death Metal, though it has to be said, The Red In The Sky Is Ours and With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness are praised more so their third and this. It is these two that possess the classic sound many bands have re-spun to their own flavor, a far brighter, palatable sound, easy to enjoy with gleams of melody between aggressive aesthetics. Slaughter Of The Soul is essentially the same sound as Terminal Spirit Disease, however it is an actual album lasting over the thirty minute mark.

With a string of fast and keen songs lingering around the three minute mark the music sprints its way through a deluge of riffs on a slick, crunchy, tearing guitar tone fit for chugging rapid rhythms and splicing infectious melody into the fold. Simple song structures and a keen ear for dynamism between groove and melodic surges let the music sway between the two worlds. It has to be said a lot of the riffing styles steer away from the brutality of Death Metal and sound more along the lines of Proto-Metalcore. I'm guessing these guys has an influence on that scene too given the similarities in riffing techniques heard on this record and before.

The aesthetic is pleasing, it comes together with a touch of gloss yet on closer inspection their is some grit in the guitar tone. Singer Lindberg's screams are the same crass, raspy howls as before yet something about how they are mixed in let his barks chime in, more so than tear through. This makes them quite likeable. The drums sound fantastic and snappy on a great sounding production that has held up over the two decades since. Obviously the music itself is king and At The Gates nail their style here. They also show off a little dexterity with a folk-ish acoustic guitar interlude, Into The Dead Sky, and a symphonic outro track lined with a drum beat. It shows off the genuine talent behind the music. Fantastic record!

Favorite Tracks: Slaughter Of The Soul, Suicide Nation, Unto Others
Rating: 8/10

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