Album Review: At The Gates – “The Nightmare of Being” 8.5 (Death Metal)

Written by Zax

  • At The Gates The Nightmare of Being
  • Melodic Death Metal from Sweden
  • Released on July 2nd, 2021 via Century Media Records
  • 8.5/10

I don’t think any band exemplifies the idea of carrying the whole game on your back quite like Sweden’s At The Gates. Every time they release something new, it’s a monumental moment for metal. There’s a tremendous amount of pressure on them to perform considering their influence. Every melodeath band to this day is still jocking At The Gates riffs, and the entire second wave of metalcore wouldn’t exist without them. Despite this pressure, they never fail to deliver quality tunes and keep death metal fans happy.

Unsurprisingly so, this record is fantastic. Nobody’s questioning that; the real question is, how does it stack up to the rest of their discography?

I think this may be their most engaging album in a little while. It has that same dark, smokey atmosphere their last two records had, but the riffs are a lot more catchy here, and there are more hooky moments. It mixes the greatness of their new stuff with the firepower of their old stuff for a truly powerful combination.

It’s also their most progressive album to date. The use of horns and keyboards is grand and unlike anything we’ve heard from them before. Weirdly enough it kinda gives me Wayfarer vibes. The different song structures and immaculate flow of the record are proggy too. Definitely an interesting twist for them.

Artwork by Eva Nohan

It’s a very fierce, intense record musically. The bass lines are deep and smooth, the percussion is absolutely pummeling, and the riffs are their most memorable in a while. I will say this isn’t their best album vocally, but that’s not because they’re bad, it’s because they’re definitely an acquired taste. The raw, burly mids aren’t going to do it for everyone, but I certainly dig them.

It’s At The Gates man, you’re gonna love it. You can’t go wrong with these guys. Amazing release, I see it landing on a lot of best lists this year!

8.5

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