Gates Of Ishtar
At Dusk And Forever


4.0
excellent

Review

by Darkvoid67 USER (31 Reviews)
January 25th, 2011 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist



There are many metal bands who time forgot, bands that deserved to go onto greater things but fell at the critical last hurdle. Gates of Ishtar were formed in 1992, when the new wave of melodic death metal from Sweden was just starting to really kick off. While compatriots Dark Tranquillity and At the Gates were into playing nasty, visceral death metal with plentiful leads on the guitar, Gates of Ishtar were leaning far more towards the black metal side of things and to good effect. Their transition from lumpy outcasts to a decent melo-death band never really took shape until their 1998 grand opus “At Dusk and Forever”, which combined shrieks akin to Tomas Lindberg of At the Gates with the early, frantic lead guitar work of Dark Tranquillity to great effect.

“At Dusk and Forever” as a whole is certainly up there with the most aggressive melo-death albums released, but it doesn’t come with the usual clean cast production akin to fellow genre sharers. There is a real grittiness in the 30 odd minutes of playing time that is somewhat refreshing, although it can lead to several frustrations as well. The barrage of the drums means that the howls of vocalist Mikael Sandorf are pretty well much lost in the confusion, the very well played melodic leads overpower absolutely everything and the bass may as well not exist.

Thankfully, the overall quality of the album means that these faults, albeit somewhat major ones can be ignored. What we have here with Gates of Ishtar’s final album is a very good entry into the genre of melodic death metal. There are no sightings of keyboards, no venturing off into prog territory, no symphonics, just melodic death metal the way all the great albums have been. And once you overcome the barriers to the vocals, the lyrical content is actually rather good albeit in classic death metal territory. Opener “Wounds” hits you right in the face, the barrage of lead guitar and drums with the gritty production giving it an extra edge reminiscent of the more extreme end of At the Gates. Sure, all the songs start out pretty similar but most thankfully build upon the formula and add little touches here and there, from bursts on the double bass to sustained growls, but the middle of the album is the place to be. “Battles to Come” is easily the best on the album, continuing all the way at a frantic pace due to a stellar performance from stickman Oskar Karlsson and fantastic, Viking inspired leads akin to Amon Amarth’s earliest work.

What Gates of Ishtar achieved with their final album “At Dusk and Forever” was a mix of their first two albums, but combined them in such a way that it was far superior to either of their previous works. Stellar guitar playing, gritty production more akin to black metal than death metal and pounding drums all come together in the mixing pot to provide one of the more extreme, and consistent offerings in the genre. It’s short, sweet and sharp, and should be considered a must for fans of At the Gates, early Dark Tranquillity and melodic death metal in general.

Recommended Tracks:

1. Wounds
2. At Dusk and Forever
3. Battles to Come
4. Never Alone



Recent reviews by this author
Five Finger Death Punch The Wrong Side of Heaven and The Righteous Side...Nightrage Insidious
Unanimated Ancient God of EvilGates Of Ishtar A Bloodred Path
DevilDriver BeastSatyricon The Age Of Nero
user ratings (25)
Chart.
4.1
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Darkvoid67
January 25th 2011


383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Been out of the loop for a while with exams 'n stuff, any improvements I'd be happy to know. Album can be found here

http://listen.grooveshark.com/#/album/At+Dusk+And+Forever/4562891

Voivod
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


6146 Comments


well written review, pos.

i know the band by name, but never listened to their music.



There are many metal bands who time forgot, bands that deserved to go onto greater things but fell at the critical last hurdle

so true

Digging: Raven Throne - ???????? ?????????

Darkvoid67
January 25th 2011


383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Thanks man. This is great stuff

ffs
January 25th 2011


4878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

so catchy

ffs
January 25th 2011


4878 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

pretty sure this album does have keyboards though.

or what instrument is it on forever beach and the last half of always?

Darkvoid67
January 25th 2011


383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Man, the mix was so poor on the version I listened to, I had trouble telling. If it is keyboards, they don't overbear the sound unlike on COB and In Flames albums, and it sounds more like synths or some funky electro effect

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8368 Comments


Good review, Last.fm has been recommending these guys for a while for me, so I guess I need to finally give them a go.

Darkvoid67
January 25th 2011


383 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

It was actually you HSThomas who made me check this out, so my thanks go to you

Ulsufyring
January 25th 2011


1724 Comments


good melodeath = oxymoron lolololol

Metalstyles
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


8368 Comments


Seriously do Metalstyles, this album is just so good. Forever Beach is beautiful. I have Dawn of Flames on CD as well but this is so hard to get these days.
I'll definitely remember this and will aquire the album the next time I go on a melodeath binge/get into a melodeath mood.

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2011


18521 Comments


Good job, looks cool. I hate all but a very few melodeath albums, but this might just be my cup of tea.

Digging: Objekt - Flatland

CaptainDooRight
July 31st 2012


29421 Comments


catchy yes and melodic but well composed, reminds me of gos and dt a bit and early if, good stuff

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

CaptainDooRight
August 22nd 2012


29421 Comments


omg



Keyblade
August 12th 2013


14888 Comments


fuck yes

Kusangii
October 21st 2013


309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

great stuff

Digging: Vale of Pnath - The Prodigal Empire

CaptainDooRight
October 21st 2013


29421 Comments


swee

SpiritCrusher2
April 18th 2014


3073 Comments


Wounds is such a great opener

InFlamesWeThrash666
April 29th 2014


1240 Comments


Album rules

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta II: Dialogue with the Stars

Kusangii
August 31st 2014


309 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The Nightfall is such a jam



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy