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At the Gates – To Drink from the Night Itself


Last Updated on 05:13 PM by Giorgos Tsekas

Genre: Melodic Death
Country: Sweden
Label: Century Media Records
Year: 2018

A couple of years after the fall of the Iron Curtain a new term was born in Germany and some former Eastern Bloc countries, such as Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland. The new term was Ostalgia (rhyming with ‘nostalgia’), an anglicized word for Ostalgie a portmanteau of the German words Nostalgie (nostalgia) and Ost (east).  Nostalgia is learned formation of a Greek compound, consisting of νόστος (nóstos), meaning ‘homecoming’, a Homeric word, and ἄλγος (álgos), meaning “pain” or “ache”. So the nostalgia for aspects of life in East Germany or for life under the socialist system had various motivations, whether ideology, nationalism, wistfulness for a lost sense of social status or stability, or even aesthetics or irony. In Melodic Death (and even further in almost any sub-genre of Heavy Metal or Extreme sound) there’s a strong feeling of sentimentally adherence to the ‘good old days’, an almost medical condition whether elder audience wants to cut off the newbies and a part of the new blood wants to feel part of the glorious past by worshipping (as they try to hide the feeling of envy) the ‘old-school’. It is 23 years since I bought ‘Slaughter of The Soul’ and there’s not much left from the teenager that added an instant classic in his collection, that not so many had in the small town he lived. Almost 40 now, the bills, the fast live tempo, the stress, the 5 o’ clock morning wake up for the day shift, are strong weapons to kill any sense or inkling of romantic. At The Gates’ new, number 6 studio album ringed many bells…‘To Drink From The Night Itself’ is an album that combines the articulate grandiose titles of ‘The Red In The Sky Is Ours’ and ‘With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness’, the gloomy atmosphere and the aggressive attitude of ‘Terminal Spirit Disease’ and blended with the modern production of ‘At War With Reality’ before all the above ingredients melted on the cauldron made from the pure steel of ‘The Slaughter of The Soul’. As long as the record was spinning in my stereo my heart was talking about the best album I’ve ever heard from the Swedes, but my heart’s whispering was muffled from my mind’s yelling at me for being nostalgic…Many would say that we can hear on ‘To Drink From The Night Itself’ 12 versions of ‘Blinded By Fear’ or the tardy sequel of ‘The Slaughter of The Soul’. I also know that the new album is almost masterfully crafted. Straightforward with the fast paced drumming and the mixture of melodic leads with the Slayer-like up-tempo riffing spread all over its 45 minutes of raw anger and powerful top notch melodeath. Of course you’ll just love Lindberg’s screaming that is as always sharp and ready to attack or confront with his poetic and intelligent lyrics. We can’t just named it their finest moment. It won’t be fair. It lacks of originality? Hell no, guys we‘re talking about the same composers…but yes it lacks of character and personality as an album, I can’t lie. Still is a ‘must buy’ release for all the ones that lived in the 90’s and understand that these years will never come back, but life is a never ending journey that only goes forward. But this specific sound (among others) marked their youth.




Giorgos Tsekas
Giorgos Tsekas
"Κάποτε Όταν Θα ‘χουμε Καιρό... Θα Σκεφτούμε Πάνω Στις Ιδέες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Στοχαστών, Θα Θαυμάσουμε Τους Πίνακες Όλων Των Μεγάλων Ζωγράφων, Θα Γελάσουμε Με Όλους Τους Χωρατατζήδες, Θα Φλερτάρουμε Όλες Τις Γυναίκες, Θα Διδάξουμε Όλους Τους Ανθρώπους" Μπ. Μπρεχτ

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