On To Drink from the Night Itself At the Gates return with 45 minutes of new material for us to salivate over. It’s not entirely business as usual, however, as this latest album showcases the more savage, unfriendly side of the band more than some of their other work.
Although the key, classic elements of the band’s melodic Gothenburg-style death metal are intact and well – furious riffs and blazing melodies wrapping around the singer’s distinctive raging snarl – these new songs are generally a little rougher and nastier than some of the band’s older material. The album is still a very song-focused one, capitalising on what the band do best with catchy hooks and memorable melodies, but the brutality has taken a step up, while also allowing for some progressive elements to be felt here and there.
There are some more experimental, atypical structures and dynamics on this album too, which may cause some people to pause here and there, but fear not, as At the Gates know what they’re doing. Essentially the album mixes the band’s more accessible side with some of their earlier, less-approachable material. Throw in some minor progressive flourishes, and a production that strikes the right balance between brutality and clarity, and you have a surprisingly rich and multifaceted listen for something that mostly just wants to rip your face off in a colourfully violent way.
This all results in an album that works best after multiple listens. Yes, there’s a lot of instant-appeal material here too, but this is an album that definitely grows on you over time and rewards repeated visits.
Overall this is a very enjoyable and ultimately quite addictive death metal album that combines catchy melodic bite with meaty songwriting and macabre atmosphere.