Party In The Paddock. Ricky Ponting. Cascade beers. The humble Apple Isle has gifted us …
An album is in many ways a monument to the times in which it was created, and this is the case with Gothenburg melodic death metal pioneers At The Gates’ latest album To Drink From The Night Itself.
Their 2014 release At War With Reality marked a post-nineteen-year comeback and the final recording with founding guitarist Anders Björler, who left At The Gates in 2017 after writing for To Drink From The Night Itself was complete but prior to recording. This album reflects a band in transition, and necessarily so, as new guitarist Jonas Stålhammar makes his debut recording songs written with the former guitarist.
Overall, To Drink From The Night Itself is a more brooding album than the more recent At The Gates releases
Although a ‘transitional’ album, there’s little that is entirely new. Rather, To Drink From The Night Itself reconfigures aspects of the At The Gates sound seemingly in a search for the way ahead. There is plenty of the familiar to keep it grounded, such as the title track with its down-tuned-up-tempo energy and memorable melody line. Some of the strongest tracks on the album recall the darker edge of At The Gates, such as the chillingly profound track Daggers of Black Haze. The most exciting moment, when all the strengths of At The Gates come together, is on Labyrinth of Tombs, which showcases the potential of what Stålhammar can bring to the guitar sound.
Overall, To Drink From The Night Itself is a more brooding album than the more recent At The Gates releases, and a solid stepping-stone towards consolidating the early influence of At The Gates into a forward-moving modern melodic death metal sound.
To Drink From The Night Itself is out now via Century Media
STANDOUT TRACKS: Labyrinth of Tombs, Daggers of Black Haze, To Drink From The Night Itself
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Dark Tranquillity, Carcass, The Haunted.