At the Gates
The Red in the Sky Is Ours


5.0
classic

Review

by psycho888999 USER (20 Reviews)
October 22nd, 2009 | 38 replies | 2,893 views


Release Date: 1992 | Tracklist

Review Summary: At The Gate's most complex work to date.

6 of 6 thought this review was well written

This is, without a doubt At The Gates' best work before they started to simplify their music. This album features some of the most obtuse and unorthodox guitar work this side of technical death metal, and has a strong melancholic atmosphere throughout- an element that started to decay once they recorded Terminal Spirit Disease.

The production is rather peculiar, and is a sore point for many people. But personally, I really don't see what the big deal is. All the instruments are represented with utmost clarity, if not leaning a little bit towards the trebly side. In fact, the production is reminiscent of De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas without the reverb and echoes, making for a much dryer and flat sound. It's actually quite convenient for musical analysis, since all the instruments sort of just 'float' at the top of the sonic spectrum. The guitars are pushed to the forefront, while the drums create a sort of crumbling ribcage to hold in the dualing axes. And I don't know if it's just me, but the bass guitar is pushed into EXACTLY the same aural niche as the bass drums, causing it to become extremely buried in the mix, which contributes to the two dimensional nature of the production. Furthermore, the cymbals and high hats are recorded rather softly causing the almost complete absence of a 'wall of sound'. However, when all is said and done, the production takes a backseat to the music, and is not of much concern.

The music is where this album shines. The riffs are constantly shifting and twisting themselves around like primordial goo, drawing large influences from tremelo picking in black metal and the more melodic aspects of pure death metal. The result is a strange but effective set of nihilistic subjective tracks that challenge you to interpret their meanings. One listening could induce impressions of destructiveness and despair, while another one could bring to mind a longing melancholic atmosphere. It should be said at this point that the reason for the 'classic' rating is because of the successful fusion of traditional black metal and death metal. At The Gates manage to bring together both the sentiments and techniques of each respective genre without muddling them together incoherently. The sense of despairing longing is still there, but is augmented by the sinister undertone of atonal destructiveness. Dissection did the same thing, but brought a much happier take with their inclusion of NWOBM riffs. Where they brought out musical sentiments to the forefront, At The Gates encrypts them in a barrage of schizophrenic overlapping riffs that could easily be the soundtrack to a Jungian nightmare.

Musicianship is a little bit sloppy however, as if the everybody in the band was trying to play beyond their abilities. Several guitar bloopers can be heard here and there, and the drums slip every once in a while, but again, the music overshadows this. It was only on the fifth or sixth listen that I detected the minor errors. The vocals are passionate and raw- making full use of the diaphragm and belting out tortured screams of a man being boiled alive. It's in the vein of Burzum, but much more practiced.

The album is rather inaccessible, but it has extreme value in the long run. Every repeated listen will grant you something fresh and new, and unlike many of the melodeath albums today that present you a set of processed emotions arranged neatly on a platter, The Red in the Sky is Ours gives you raw ones and challenges you to cook something up relevant to both to their music and your current state of mind. In short, while Slaughter of the Soul has it's short term merits and headbanging value, this album possesses a much more involving and cereberal qualities. Highly recommended for any metal fan.



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user ratings (375)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
BillEco (3.5)
Bad production, bad vocals, and often murky guitar sound, while The Red in the Sky is ours still has...

Bron-Yr-Aur (2)
...

(3.5)
...


Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
October 22nd 2009



44164 Comments


Havent heard this one yet. Nice review, suppose I should give this a spin as i'm a bit of a ATG fanboy.

R6Rider
October 22nd 2009



4476 Comments


the mighty Balls hasn't heard this yet?!

Digging: Rort - Warpath

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Overrated album, Kit Brown's review is right on par.

Athom
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2009



17197 Comments


the vocals are sooooooooooooooooooooo bad

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

They're VERY out of place.

BTW- proofread the review, there are typos/misspells.

Thor
October 22nd 2009



10176 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

lol thanks crysis, yeah this album isn't very good at all

Lelle
October 22nd 2009



2150 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

boring music, album lacks vibe, it's all just kind of there

plus, those vocals, ahahahahhaa

OllieS
October 22nd 2009



2029 Comments


This was a good review but I don't think it was a good idea to post it after your Amorphis review, as both of them describe apparent almost identical albums. Pos'd anyhow.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
October 22nd 2009



16258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The guitars are the only things which really save this album I think.

Inveigh
October 22nd 2009



24798 Comments


You seemed to mention way too many negative aspects of this album for it to get a 5 rating -- although you did explain why you rated it as such. I just can't get that into ATG stuff before TSD. I have WFIKTBD and I've heard this, it's just to sloppy and poorly produced for my liking (the two neg aspects you mentioned).

Well-written review though.

fireaboveicebelow
October 22nd 2009



6837 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I never listen to this, gardens of grief destroys this though

JWT155
October 22nd 2009



9205 Comments


Never gave this a listen, Slaughter of the Soul is a Melo-Death masterpiece.

XulOnerom
October 22nd 2009



1818 Comments


I'll be honest: the only ATG album I've heard is SOTS

This makes me curious. I'll look into it

xkeyboardmoshx
October 23rd 2009



64 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

5/5?

It's good but, 5/5? lol

xkeyboardmoshx
October 23rd 2009



64 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the vocals are sooooooooooooooooooooo bad


you're smoking crack

lostforwords
October 23rd 2009



443 Comments


Windows FTW!!!

Lindberg is a God!!!

devsol
October 23rd 2009



347 Comments


album is good

lindberg's vocals are good, the atmosphere is excellent, though in some parts the album is a bit sloppy in terms of composition

definitely not a classic

Zipzop5565
October 23rd 2009



402 Comments


I liked this album. I liked the experimentation and the ever present violins, as well as its technicality.

BillEco
October 23rd 2009



67 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album really grew on me since the time I wrote the 3.5 review. It just needs time

DLNation
October 23rd 2009



19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Album is not even close to their best work. Great for the time (When it came out), but poor production, unstable band lineup, and lack of direction would sum this album up. Saying that this album is even on the same wavelength of Slaughter of the Soul is just retarded. I also don't remember At the Gates "dumbing" their latter music down at all?



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