AT THE GATES – “To Drink from the Night Itself” (2018)

Written by Boris Džinić

“To Drink from the Night Itself”
Melodic Death Metal
Century Media Records, 2018

The album completely exudes a horror atmosphere that constantly sends frightening shivers through your body, and although it doesn’t contain a timeless hit that would carry a new generation of melodic death metal on its melodies and riffs, this is still a record worth listening.

With the maximum dose of disbelief that it already has been four years since the returning album of the legendary band AT THE GATES, after an unrealistically long break, I am approach the listening to the new “To Drink from the Night Itself” with the face expression similar to Munch’s “The Scream”, and a jaw dropped all the way down to the table because – “Wait, didn’t I literally write a review for ‘At War With Reality’ yesterday and talk to Tomas Lindberg about this album?”

I’m being snapped back into reality, while listening to the new album, with the fact that in the previous review I hit a clean shot and guessed that the debates of the epic proportions about this album will be held. Some of the recognized reviewers in the music world did not even want to do the review of the album because of the drastic change in the band’s music, which, after almost 20 years of studio pause, remained faithful to the original ATG sound as much as possible after such break.

At the first encounter with the new album, it can be concluded that it is a consistent continuation of the previous one, and although “At War With Reality” sounded deeply dark and mystical, “Drink from the Night Itself” somewhat drifts in the even darker atmosphere. This is heard immediately, because the anger catches you already in the intro instrumental “Der Widerstand” and the title song, while its cold hands will not give it up to the end of the album, and be sure that you will feel the fear in your bones long after listening to these songs. The album completely exudes a horror atmosphere that constantly sends tiny and frightening shivers through your body, as if each song is additionally pulled through the muddy and sludgy underground tunnels through which just a moment ago crawled a worm-like monster that can only be invented by the imagination of Dan Simmons.

The overall album’s energy is scary and furious; however, as was the case with the previous album, they remained consistent with their recognizable ATG sound that brought them cult status, without even a little research, experimentation, discovery of some new features. To be understood, this wouldn’t be a monumental album that ATG used this dark atmosphere of their songs and sailed into black metal or sludge waters, but it would simply be refreshing to fans to see that you progress and grow as a band through some tiny details that made your album even more powerful. Just like this, the album is good and stable, but as you are listening to it you think that you’ve really heard it all so many times and that just a slightly darker atmosphere isn’t enough to make this album brilliant.

Lyrics are still one of the main parts of their story, and Lindberg once again tried to consider one of the basic life and philosophical questions – about life and death (in his case, predominantly death) and about how the presence of death is constantly hanging over our heads. However, many of his metaphors can also be interpreted as an overview of well-known social divisions that, through minds, words and deeds of people full of hate break our societies into the smallest pieces.

As the songs that stand out, we can name “Seas of Starvation”, “The Colours of the Beast” and “A Labyrinth of Tombs”, although there is no timeless hit on this album that would carry a new generation of melodic death metal on its melodies and riffs.

Make sure to listen to “To Drink from the Night Itself” and enjoy each tone of this cult band, and although it may not get the status as some of their old albums, this is still a record worth listening.

Written by Boris Džinić


01. Der Widerstand
02. To Drink From The Night Itself
03. A Stare Bound In Stone
04. Palace Of Lepers
05. Daggers Of Black Haze
06. The Chasm
07. In Nameless Sleep
08. The Colours Of The Beast
09. A Labyrinth Of Tombs
10. Seas Of Starvation
11. In Death They Shall Burn
12. The Mirror Black

About the author

Boris Džinić