I decided to try my hand at good ol' Death Metal, and following a bit of research, decided to take a pop at this one. I've never really gotten into this most controversial of Metal sub-genres. I always kind of viewed Death Metal as Thrash 'without a lot of other stuff,' one of them being melody and decipherable vocals, and to a large extent I stand by my initial view. But to dismiss the genre because of that would be foolish. It may be a stripped down version of Thrash, but those element are turned up way beyond 11! This album is pretty much the 'Reign In Blood' of the genre and shares a few charecteristics of that album. Defining, fast, brutally heavy and probably at the time, the leader of the pack. If an alien fell to Earth and asked for a definitive example of Death Metal, you wouldn't be doing ET a disservice by handing him this. The riffs are fast and heavy, solos chaotic a la Slayer, vocals (the Marmite point for many) typical of the genre and suited to the music, even if you can't tell what the hell he's saying most of the time! You'll either love it or loathe it, there's no getting away from that. There is also, a slight operatic and epic feel to some of the riffs. The second half of epic opener 'Immortal Rites' being a shining example of this. Curiously, the bonus, remasterd, remixed versions of the original albums' songs are noticably louder!
Awesome album, one of my all time favorites in death metal, great debut, so evil and dark. All songs are eargasm, great sound, headbang all the way, vocals type that i like, an album you can listen to it in loop. Top tracks: 'Maze of Torment', 'Chapel of Ghouls', 'Suffocation', 'Damnation' but basically all. 38 minutes of pleasure for the ears and the neck, awesome artwork. Should be on any death and thrash metal fan collection.
When I finally got round to picking up a copy of Morbid Angel's great debue album 'Altars of Madness I was already very familliar with, and a large fan of many of the other Florida Death Metal legions such as Death and Obituary. However when I first put on the CD and was hit by the opening blasts of 'Immortal Rites', I was certanly not expecting the speed that the album opens with and maintains through out. Although the album is dominated by speed, there is still plenty of technical guitar playing which has become something of a trademark with the early Death Metal bands of the late 80's. Pete Sandoval's drumming is impecable and remains at light speed pace through out the album with masterful use of 'blast beats' and his double bass drums. Unfortunately the only place were the album is let down is in the guitar solos which while still good did not seem on the same level as such masters of the genre as James Murphy and Chuck Schuldiner. If you are a fan of Morbid Angel you really should buy this album to see how they started off, and also take a look into it if you are a fan of any of the classic Death Metal bands such as Death, Obituary and Autopsy as this is a classic of the genre. The extras on this re-release include a brilliant video track of 'Immortal Rites' live in the UK during November 1989
Unfortunately for other death metal bands,even though this album came out in 89 it just makes many other dm albums sound lacking,even today. I think they just have a lot going on in their music,Van Halen style guitars widdling all over the place,the experimental classical and industrial interludes on later ones,they just seem to assult the senses and blast like a hurricane.A lot of dm just sounds like a dull thud,over and over,extreme but boring,but MA keep it interesting throughout.
Well what can i say,i've never truly been a massive At The Gates fan,there style of death metal never really grabbed me as much as Carcass or In Flames,Dark Tranquility or even Gardenian,i have all their earlier albums and i don't like them as much as my friends in the musical circle. However on one thing we do truly agree on,and that this is by far their best album ever,they really came into their own with this. Alot of people just say oh my god yet another version of Slaughter Of The Soul released? How many is it now 3 or 4 times it's been re-released? And why should i buy this verion? I think for big fans the dvd may make it worthwhile as the extra tracks were on an earlier re-release. Maybe you caught them on thr reunion tour? But if you are interested in At The Gates this is the album to buy. It's very heavy,downtuned to B very well produced unlike there other stuff,and these songs have a really heavy groove as well which makes them alot more memorable. They have never had any blinding guitar solo's and this is also the case with this album so they just rely on good riffing and they have this in abundance,it's their best selling cd to date and i expect will be always. Another reason you may be checking this out is because after the band split they went on to form 'The Haunted' and of course played blinded by fear at a few Haunted gigs. It's not as intense riff wise as The Haunted but you can see where they were coming from with this cd,also of course another spin of band from this was 'Witchery',same guitarist as 'The Haunted' again. So if you you are curious because of these reasons this is definately the cd to buy of At The Gates as it is by far there best release ever,they were very influencual in the music scene of the time if not just for the spin off bands,best production,best songs, if you had to buy an At The Gates cd everyone will say buy this one!!!!!
'Slaughter Of The Soul' is just one of those records that make you go, "wow. this i .... amazing". This really is an essential purchase to any serious death metal fan's collection. 'Slaughter' was released in late 1995 to a huge amount of acclaim. Sadly, in the summer of 1996, the pressure was too much and the band split. But what a fine epitaph. Tomas Lindberg's vocals probably take a little time to get used to, but the thrashy guitars and slick production thanks to Dan Tobin don't. There is pure thrash, slow build up numbers, and a beautiful instrumental that I wish was a bit longer than two minutes. This is one criticism of the album - its brevity. Thirty three minutes might make you feel shortchanged, but you won't be. This was At The Gates' best album, but you might be better off with "Suicidal Final Art", the recently released 'best of', to get an overview of the band's short lifetime. The headline says it all - an essential purchase. Whilst the Bjorler brothers may have resurfaced in the shape of the Haunted, At The Gates currently remains their best work.
The final album from the sadly departed At The Gates, Sweden's second finest ever death metal band (after Entombed, of course!), this is a masterpiece. If you like death metal, you buy this album, it's as simple as that. Containing such underground classics as "Blinded By Fear", "Nausea" and the awesome title track, the only drawback of this record is its length. Clocking in at just over half an hour, some may complain about a lack of VFM. Ignore them, they're just whingers. Unfortunately, shortly after the release of this album, the band went their seperate ways. However, the creative nucleus of At The Gates, The Bjorler brothers went on to form The Haunted, so buy their albums as well. However, as good as they are, they don't quite live up to this swansong of one of the most original metal artists of recent years.