At the Gates
Slaughter of the Soul


5.0
classic

Review

by LaughingSkull USER (32 Reviews)
December 20th, 2013 | 171 replies | 3,644 views


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The best death metal album of all time

3 of 12 thought this review was well written

Since its inception in the late eighties, death metal has branched into several distinct sub-subgenres. There's the death metal that focuses on brutal acts of violence, with bands such as Cannibal Corpse. There's also the pretentious intellectual tea-sipping death metal as played by bands such as Death and Opeth. Then there's the more accessible Gothenburg death metal that relies on sheer melodic force and harmonised leads, In Flames being the most known representative. And then there's At the Gates with their album Slaughter of the Soul which is on an entirely new level compared to all these mentioned before and is the best death metal album of all time.

At the Gates do not exploit the violence, gore and bloodshed theme. Neither do they veer into overly melodic near-pop metal like their Swedish colleagues did. And they especially do not venture into exploration of deeply wise and "progressive" philosophical themes over which fat sweaty pimpled socially awkward bespectacled nerdgins can masturbate to and proclaim their intellectual supremacy inbetween polishing their monocle. Or at least not on this album. No, the power here comes from the sheer riffs. My god, THE RIFFAGE. This album is an absolute riff fest from start to finish. God, just listen to the title track and tell me with a straight face that it is not perfection in a nutshell. From the drum-free beginning, to the headbanging part 1:20 in, to the harmonisation just after it. And all this with that double boss pedal buzzsaw guitar tone. I swear, this is the most perfect metal song ever. (ok, maybe right after Tornado of Souls) And, by the way, the addition of "Go!" and "Do it!" is genius. Don't protest.

On the whole, this album strikes the perfect balance between melody and memorability on the one hand and brutal, hardhitting bludgeonry on the other. The songs are satisfyingly melodic and accessible, but at the same time crushing and unrelenting. Once the album revs up with initiator Blinded by Fear, it doesn't ever let up until the falling action of closer The Flames of the End. And in the middle, there is that stunning instrumental, Into the Dead Sky which is absolutely beautiful. Fuck your notions of beauty in Death's music. Or Opeth's music. THIS is beauty. Magic. Beauty. Don't even get me started on the gun-click at the beginning of Suicide Nation. So simple, yet so effective and powerful. God...

One last thing I want to mention is, this album gets a lot of slag because it supposedly inspired a whole generation of crappy bands. Notice the hypocrisy: Slayer's Reign in Blood also inspired a lot of crappy bands, but no one says anything against that because it's "fucking Slayer!!1". Reign in Blood is great because it inspired a lot of bands. But Slaughter of the Soul sucks because it inspired a lot of bands. Riiiight...

Larger than life in its overwhelming nihilism, Slaughter of the Soul is the best death metal album of all time. Listen to it, revere it, and maybe hope that some day At the Gates will record yet another album, and show everyone just what death metal really is. Though how exactly they will top this, I do not know.

Recommended tracks:
All of them.




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user ratings (1480)
Chart.
4.2
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013



49770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Not the best death metal album

Barely DM honestly, melodeath is its own thing

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

demigod!
December 20th 2013



43812 Comments


this guys just trying to be controversial


heartwork >>>>

Digging: Black Flag - My War

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013



4712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

One last thing I want to mention is, this album gets a lot of slag because it supposedly inspired a whole generation of crappy bands. Notice the hypocrisy: Slayer's Reign in Blood also inspired a lot of crappy bands, but no one says anything against that because it's "fucking Slayer". Reign in Blood is great because it inspired a lot of bands. But Slaughter of the Soul sucks because it inspired a lot of bands. Riiiight...


This paragraph just gave me six different types of cancer.

Digging: Integrity - Those Who Fear Tomorrow

Judio!
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013



4712 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

heartwork >>>> [2]

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013



49770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This didn't simply inspire shit bands, they straight up just stole the riffs

demigod!
December 20th 2013



43812 Comments


title track will always be awesome tho

TheSpirit
December 20th 2013



17144 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Melodeath is its own thing but like ... Not really

Digging: Monarch - Sabbracadaver

demigod!
December 20th 2013



43812 Comments


its regular death metal with its nuts chopped off

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013



49770 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It's DM in major keys instead of minor

SpiritCrusher2
December 20th 2013



2877 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

shitty review, but this is totally true "the power here comes from the sheer riffs", so I won't neg lol

if the album had some more depth to it, I'd give it a 5. still though, it's one of my favorite albums ever, pure awesomeness

Mister Twister
December 20th 2013



1493 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5 | Sound Off

Fuck your notions of beauty in Death's music. Or Opeth's music. THIS is beauty.

adr
December 20th 2013



1748 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

album slaying

FrozenVain
December 20th 2013



2367 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is cool but LaughingSkull's general opinions about metal are kinda weird.

Avagantamos
December 20th 2013



1787 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

one review per day, bud

Digging: IDYLLS - Prayer for Terrene

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 20th 2013



19434 Comments


slow down

Digging: Musk Ox - Woodfall

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2013



18005 Comments


album is overrated hard

It's DM in major keys instead of minor


lol what no

Digging: Autechre - Draft 7.30

SlMBOLlC
December 20th 2013



4831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bloody treb of all the dm to love

this does lack balls but its got the riffs and songwriting well above usual for melodeath

SlMBOLlC
December 20th 2013



4831 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i would agree with the comment on death if you didnt call it pretentious.

Crysis
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2013



16242 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

And they especially do not venture into exploration of deeply wise and "progressive"
philosophical themes over which fat sweaty pimpled socially awkward bespectacled nerdgins can
masturbate to and proclaim their intellectual supremacy inbetween polishing their monocle.


have you even read the lyrics to the red in the sky is ours

And, by the way, the addition of "Go!" and "Do it!" is genius. Don't protest.


lol wat

Hyperion1001
Staff Reviewer
December 20th 2013



18005 Comments


valerius pt. 2



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