The first album by the Swedish metal group, the first impression I gathered was how different it sounded from any of their other albums. Tomas Lindeberg (vocals) has a more standard scream here, and the arrangements musically are far more complex with many different time signatures than found on "Slaughter of the Soul".
This was also the only At The Gates album to not feature Jonas Bjorler on bass, which may or may not be part of the reason for it's more raw, straight forward sound. There are also less lead guitar breaks on here, with the band opting for more dual guitar harmonies and straight up thrash stylings.
There are numerous times where the vocals would simply annoy me, but there also happen to be numerous times where they fit in almost to perfection. WARNING: If you loved "Slaughter of the Soul" and/or "Terminal Spirit Disease" this may not be the album for you.
The album has a few highlights, such as "Windows", The classical coda to "The Red in The Sky is Ours" (billed as "The Season to Come"), "The Scar", and a live take on "All Life Ends", from the "Gardens Of Grief" LP.
Many listeners may find this album somewhat inconsistent in its' material
and I would have to agree with such opinions. "Claws of Laughter Dead" is a fairly uninteresting song with terrible vocals, and "Within" isn't too bad, though it drags on for a rather long period of time (6:54)
Original sound, great playing by the band, good guitar sound, interesting musical arrangements.
Dislikes: Vocals can become annoying, some songs sound the same,
hard to hear bass.
This album really doesn't show a band that would be putting out an album like "Slaughter of the Soul" in three years, but that doesn't take away from its' merit in the slightest. A competent album and a good debut. 3/5