At the Gates
Slaughter of the Soul


4.5
superb

Review

by Shadows USER (89 Reviews)
November 17th, 2005 | 808 replies | 60,109 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist


The static that can be heard when the album begins to play is a prelude to a revelation. Industrial sounds shuffle in the background as an unknown voice tells us, �We are blind to the world within us� waiting to be born�. Suddenly as silence prevails, we are struck by the overwhelming.

Your soul has been slaughtered.

The band At the Gates became more than a band at the end of their career. They were legends. They became known as the band that truly revolutionized melodic death metal and made it what it is today. Without At the Gates, the genre would never have become what it has today. Since 1990 they combined melodic yet heavy elements with memorable and somewhat progressive songwriting. It all came to a head with their final album in the fateful mid-90�s, Slaughter of the Soul. With riffs more bludgeoning than ever and songs that will be stuck in your head for months, this album isn�t one to simply be ignored. When I first heard I thought, �This album is legendary? This kind of sucks�. But I didn�t stop there. It only took a single song to get me hooked. Once it did, I began listening to it more and more until�well; I think the rating says it all.

After the forty-second intro to Blinded by Fear the album hits you like a freight train and never lets up, except for a few incredible, emotional instrumental tracks. If you�re looking for another Terminal Spirit Disease you may be surprised. Riffs are catchier than ever, and harmonizing is utilized beautifully. However, it is immediately noticed how brutal this album is. The sound of a cocking shotgun that opens Suicide Nation can be called the album�s signature. At the Gates picked up a style here that is definitely notable. The fast moving riffs roll on at 90mph and sacrifice nothing in the way of melody or blending harmonies. The title track Slaughter of the Soul and Suicide Nation both contain dual guitar leading that seems to complete a though � you know there is a perfect riff to play in that part, and they know exactly which one. World of Lies is a slower, chugging track that pounds away with cannon-like drumming and a great rhythm.

As well as their flare for heavier writing is shown on Slaughter of the Soul, all is not lost. Many tracks contain incredible melodic moments as well as others reminiscent of their older Gothenburg. The twin guitar shredding on Blinded by Fear adds emotion to an otherwise violent song. The lead guitar tremolo picking in the middle of Under a Serpent Sun is a remembrance of Terminal Spirit Disease-style riffing. The pace is appropriately slowed by the first of the two instrumental tracks, Into the Dead Sky, with a acoustic playing that almost seems to tell us that the end is near. The Flames of the End could not be a more somber way to end the album. Melody is not lost on the final At the Gates album at all � it simply goes hand-in-hand with music that sent the band away leaving fans wanting more.

The bonus tracks here sound very much like they could�ve been written originally for this album. Slaughterlord�s Legion fits perfectly with tone of the preceding album, and The Dying is easily the slowest track they have ever released. Slayer�s Captor of Sin was made absolutely brutal by At the Gates. The music is as fast and heavy as ever, and Tomas�s voice seems to possess more insanity then Araya could ever hope for. Never fuck with an angry Swede. The album concludes with No Security�s Bister Verklighet, a song that I�m not sure how to categorize. It sounds like a B-side to Slaughter of the Soul that was rightfully scrapped the moment it was heard.

As a conclusion to their incredible career, Slaughter of the Soul could not have been a more suiting record. More ace material could�ve easily been released under their newfound intensity, but they chose to part ways before the future of At the Gates suffered. Though I refuse to ruin this review with talk of the member�s later careers (except Erlandsson, who went on to play with the incredible Cradle of Filth), the four albums released by At the Gates forever stand as the pinnacle of melodic death metal. Melody, technicality, brutality, and creativity are all blended to perfection by one of melodic death�s most original bands ever, and Slaughter of the Soul was the final nail in their renowned coffin. Rest in piece.

A few recommended tracks:
- Blinded by Fear
- Slaughter of the Soul
- Under a Serpent Sun
- Suicide Nation

Pros:
- Fast, heavy, melodic, overall unrelenting
- New and innovative for the time
- Appropriate appearances of old sounds

Cons:
- Some technical aspects gone
- Songs way too short
- The final At the Gates album



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user ratings (1514)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Storm In A Teacup
November 17th 2005


12780 Comments


Great review.This Message Edited On 02.03.06

Arrakakaka
November 17th 2005


685 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like their older stuff. This bores me a bit.

circleofdeadchildren
November 17th 2005


119 Comments


Excellent review,This album is amazing.

Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

:eek: Wow, thank you Jom. I think this is one of my best reviews in a while.

This album gets a lot of crap for various reasons, but I don't think it deserves it at all. This is incredible stuff.

Shattered_Future
November 17th 2005


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Per usual, good review.

At The Gates bores me though. I don't like their music much...it's decent, but it doesn't stick out for me.

I know they pioneered the genre, but Stratovarius pioneered the power metal genre to a degree, and they weren't that good either. Music is too simplistic for my tastes.

Same case with these guys.

Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Have you heard their old stuff?

Shattered_Future
November 17th 2005


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

No, just this.

Listening to it again...I'm not finding anything special with this. Their vocalist bugs me, like Arsis's vocalist. He makes a semidecent band almost unlistenable.

Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

You seem very sensative about vocals.

Anyway, their older stuff was much more complex. You may like it.This Message Edited On 11.17.05

Shattered_Future
November 17th 2005


1540 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Normally, I could care less about the vocals, but certain melodeath vocals just put me off.

IE, this guy and the dude from Arsis.

Replace him with Stanne, and THEN we'd have an excellent band...the music is good, but the vocals just really, really ruin it.

Shadows
Moderator
November 17th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I hate Stanne.

Anyway, thanks for the kind words everyone. I really dig these guys.

EDIT: See Character reviewThis Message Edited On 11.17.05

Jondur
November 18th 2005


92 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I count the At The Gates/Dissection/The Reign gig I saw in 1996 (on the Slaughter tour) as the best gig I've ever seen.

This album is the melody and brutality of their early albums distilled further for maximum impact. Some may say "sell out" but I say that this album perfected what they were trying to achieve. They stripped all the frills, all the extras that weren't really needed and just left a huge shot to the head.

There are very few albums I'd give 10/10. This is one. I don't think they could have taken it any further and so it was right to split up when they did.

ps lots of people overlook the first EP - Garden of Grief. Don't make the same mistake - killer old school Swedish death metal.

Dethtrasher
November 18th 2005


2211 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I heard Blinded By Fear once and I thought it sounded awesome but I don't listen to them otherwise. Good review!!

Shadows
Moderator
November 18th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I can't figure out why people call this a sellout album. Like Jondur said, they cleaned up their style greatly, left the best aspects, added clear production, and made an incredible album.

Apathy
November 18th 2005


645 Comments


This band really bores me...which is why I don't have this.

spoon_of_grimbo
November 18th 2005


2241 Comments


iv not heard this album, but i got "suicidal final art" which is essentially a "best of." and its reet gud!!!

Leper Affinity
November 18th 2005


89 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Suicidal Final Art should have some great stuff on it then. All of their albums are incredible, but this and Terminal Spirit Disease are my favorites.

Shadows
Moderator
November 20th 2005


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm sorry to bump, but there are points I want to emphasize. The riffs flow incredibly well. There are parts such as 00:32 into Slaughter of the Soul where it gets very smooth and has great melody. The same type of thing occurs 00:44 into Suicide Nation. It's like I said; you know there;s a perfect sounding riff that could be written, and they know just how to write it.

Also, the instrumentals are incredible. Into the Dead Sky has some beautiful melody contained, and I love the industrial elements on The Flames of the End (as well as the Blinded by Fear intro).

Also, I really love how both guitars solo simultaniously, but they don't have to shred. The Blinded by Fear solo is perfect and the Slaughter of the Soul solo is also amazing.

I (Heart) this album.

Thor
January 24th 2006


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Great review. I've only heard "Blinded by Fear" and I love it. I'll probably get this album soon.

Shadows
Moderator
January 24th 2006


2530 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Wow, someone actually bumped mine instead of Bartender's! :p
This album is great. I've been listening to it a lot lately. Get this now!

Thor
January 24th 2006


10191 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I'll get it soon enough, once I get back into listening to more death metal. Right now it's all about power metal! m/



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