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To Drink from The Night Itself - At The Gates

Easy solutions and a lack of courage

I was not present when the Two Drink from the Night Itself was written or recorded, so I can't know what the band was agreed. But it seems as if they agreed not to take any chances at all. What the reason is, I don't know – maybe it is because you were not quite ready to take the big chances, perhaps due to the fact that there had been a long time since you last been in a studio, or something completely third. Whatever the case is, so is the result a know predictable and despite that It sounds both angry and dangerous, so there is nothing hazardous at the band's sixth release – unfortunately. It's not a bad plate, but it is unfortunately also not an exciting plate. It works for "easy" in the sense that it does not seem to have taken one chance (in addition to the two-minute cellospil), and I honestly do not understand. The general opinion about the Gates is that they are never going to make a plate, that strikes Slaughter of the Soul, but it does not seem to believe that they can do it, why try? A weird option if you ask me.

The Big Three

To The Gates. They need no intro; they created together with Dark Tranquility and In Flames the genre we know as melodic death metal or just svenskerdød. Their career, however, has been a somewhat messy place, marked by disagreements and alternative decisions. They went in a resolution back in 1996, basically after they released their magnum opus Slaughter of the Soul, but it is said also, that one should stop at the top. In 2007, resurrected the band, but with the promise that there would be more music. Despite the promise, was released at War with Reality however, in 2014, and now we are in 2018, and we have been enriched with the band's sixth album: Two Drink from the Night Itself.

Nordic Noir

At The Gates has always been more aggressive and direct than Dark Tranquility and In Flames, and it is still their frustrations and melancholic anger that is the primary driving force. Tomas Lindberg sounds just as burned as he all days have been made, and it is clear that the Gates did not bother any of the pis or flannel; they will just to the point with the same. However, there is still room for the typical items that one can expect of svenskerdød, ie. tremoloriffs, individual keyboardpassager as well as a thick aura of despair. It is enough especially this despair, the internal darkness and the intense cold, which people outside Scandinavia find so fascinating – whether it's our movies, tv shows, or music: the contrast in that all measurements show that we are happy and functioning, but yet so anguished and depressed. You must not hear many seconds of the Two Drink from the Night Itself, before it is clear that Tomas and company are not completely satisfied! For example "Daggers of Black Haze" easily have been the theme song for the Millennium trilogy, and the theme behind the album's name makes it clear that the night's darkness and darkness is the essential. I'm a big fan of svenskerdød and therefore have a tremendous respect for the Gates, but at the same time I can't help to compare them with the other bands that emerged at the same time with them, and also were pioneers in the genre. And here I must admit that I miss a number of elements: I miss the complexity from Dark Tranquility, and I miss the playful madness from In Flames.

Two Drink from the Night Itself is not a bad plate, but the 12 numbers it is simply of the same – not only in relation to tempo, length and lyrics, but unfortunately also so similar that the numbers seem to use the same riffs, for example in the title track and the song "the Palace of Lepers". It simply does not work to have two tracks that sound almost completely the same on the same album – and certainly not, if they almost come one after the other. But at the same time, it is a consistent release: The 12 tracks are all relatively similar and go hand-in-hand with each other. None of the numbers seem misplaced, so therefore there is a natural flow all the way through, and the musical thread is just to spot. The only time where the album runs away in a completely different direction, is the last two minutes of "The Mirror Black", in which svenskerdød replaced by baroque music with a particularly gloomy cello. Had this feature been implemented the whole record through, it could have been exciting and helped to create a whole new sinister layer, but instead it just works incredibly misplaced.

>> Check the songs and lyrics here