Monday, July 5, 2021

At the Gates - "the Nightmare of Being"

 The Swedish death metal pioneers are back for their 7th album. Granted this band has a 30 year history behind them. I respect this career, but I am not the hugest fan as they seemed more thrash to me half the time and their twin guitar harmonies work better for Iron Maiden. Entombed is just better at sounding dark and meaner, so if I have to pick between the two I go with them. The second song works mainly off speed but less on the guitar harmonies and more on a mighty chug so it works better for me. While both songs so far work well off the things that made them legends are they really doing anything new ? They almost answer this is the more melodic intro to the title track, which I prefer over anything they do on the first two songs. It is more accessible but not really hooky. 

It is the "Garden of Cyrus" where they bring a sax in to enhance the smolder factor of the groove that shows they still have some life in them and care about making music. Synth intro aside "Touched By the White Hands of Death" might have  big riffs, but sounds like dialed in a typical metal. Well produced ? Yes. Well executed? Yes.  I need more inspiration from songs than just that, though they are good at doing that. The riff to "the Fall into Time". is more interesting though I can do without the dramatics. When they get into the more Opeth like jam of the song at the bass break down things really take off in the best direction yet. "Cult of Salvation " splits the difference has some jamming, but feels like it is not as natural of a turn as the previous song. 

The are back to full thrash ahead on "the Abstract Enthroned" which feels like the song is just a book end for the guitar solo. The more rock n roll vibe to "Cosmic Pessimism " is more interesting. It venture away from the predicable thrash guitar tone that has dominated the album.  When they do crank it there is a more dynamic perspective. There are some cool riffs in the last song, but it runs on one mood, over all this album is well done, for that I will round it up to a 9 as they did what they set out to do and their fans will appreciate this. 


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