At The Gates – To Drink from the Night Itself (Century Media) 2018
Charging straight out of the gates (sorry) with a riff that could easily have been taken from Slaughter of the Soul, At The Gates give a brief nod of acknowledgement to their legacy on the title track before pressing forward into unchartered territory. Destined to be a divisive record, To Drink from the Night Itself sees the Swedes slowing down, exploring melody and turning their attention towards atmosphere in a manner that’s reminiscent of early Emperor or Dissection.
“Daggers of Black Haze” features an ivory intro and an acoustic interlude, while the melodic guitar solo of “The Chasm” puts not a single note to waste as the strings weep beneath newcomer Stålhammar’s fingers. With discordant interludes, tremolo-picked riffs, and an abundance of reverb, it’s a sound that is routed very much in black metal and sits much more harmoniously around Lindberg’s strangled shrieks.
In To Drink from the Night Itself, At The Gates have reinvented themselves and created a masterpiece. Which, for a band who are now in their 28th year and helped to coin such a distinctive sound that has left its legacy in an entire genre, is something really quite remarkable.