At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being

The Nightmare Of Being Cover

At The Gates – The Nightmare Of Being
Century Media Records
Release Date: 02/07/2021
Running Time: 45:37
Review by Victor Augusto
10/10

“Legend: a very famous person, especially in a particular field, who is admired by other people.” (Oxford English Dictionary). Yes, I want to start with this definition and hold it in your mind until the end of the review. Hello again my friends. After the terrible nightmare of having my beloved wife in an ICU due to COVID-19 complications, I return with my writing (We are all so relieved she is well again Victor – Rick). During these weeks that I lived inside a hospital in Brazil, I could have (again) music as a relief. Guess what, I was listening to the new At The Gates offering and it is not the first time that their music has followed me during tough times. The band’s masterpiece “Slaughter Of The Soul” was an important album when I was a teenager and lived in a poor neighbourhood when, at that time, my life was full of misfortune!

Maybe, the concept of At The Gates lyrics, reflects the world itself. Maybe, you think it is a bit depressing to hear, while you are going through dark days as I currently am. Right now, I am writing this as I see my wife struggling to breathe. Their music shows how difficult it is to live in this world, but at the same time, they offer an incredible source of energy and hope with their superb riff structures and beautiful melodies. Are you confused with my ideas so far? So, here are my thoughts listening to just the opening song ‘Spectre Of Extinction’. A punch of riffs just like At The Gates know how to compose. Everything is allied with brutal drum fills and good melodies. It makes me feel like dying inside a hurricane, but having those chaotic fierce winds gives me energy to fight. This is how I connect myself with music, and At The Gates can offer it in a perfect way.

I won’t be repetitive about their importance of having created a unique sonority that is a Swedish trademark. What I can say is how this album has the perfect balance between all the brutality from their 90’s releases together with the cadence from their two previous albums. The quality of having crystal-clear sound in the recording process, another trademark of Swedish sonority, is still present. Maybe, on the last album, “To Drink From The Night Itself”, they purposely offered a slightly dirty production, but now they have returned with a good balanced production and a more organic one.

Guitarists Martin Larsson and Jonas Stålhammar give us superb work and I don’t think they ever questioned the absence of long-time guitarist Anders Björler, who left the band in 2017 (If you have ever considered At The Gates amazing guitar work, just listen to this album). The bass of Jonas Björler is more present on this album. I love how he commands the cadence which lets Martin and Jonas free to play their melodies and harmonies.

Tomas Lindberg and Adrian Erlandsson are the kind of musicians that make everything sound good if they are present. Adrian is a brutal drummer and his versatility of extreme beats with cadenced parts is astonishing. His intro on ‘The Paradox’ is devastating. Tomas interprets all the lyrics as few singers can do and also has a unique voice. He is also a very cool person, as he showed when we chatted a little on Gimme Metal radio with my friend DJ JET, which happened about a month ago.

Ok Victor, what makes this album special? The new elements that I couldn’t remember on their previous albums. Take four minutes of your life to listen to ‘Garden Of Cyrus’. It has everything we have come to expect from At The Gates, but with a calm intro, well guided by bass, with the beautiful addition of Saxophone. The orchestration on ‘Touched By The White Hands Of Death’ and ‘The Fall Into Time’ are also something new that give an epic atmosphere. ‘Cosmic Pessimism’ shows a calm song with clean guitars dictating the cadence while Tomas sings in a more talking style rather than screaming.

With these thoughts, I have attempted to understand what makes an excellent band become a legendary one. If you look at the history of At The Gates, especially what they have created for Heavy Metal around the world, you will understand the meaning of legend or legendary. Moreover, after so many albums, they are still able to surprise their fans. I don’t need to explain the power of these Swedish pioneers.

“The Nightmare Of Being”!

It is dark. It is heavy. It is technical. Maybe the most important detail is that it is the pure At The Gates that we all know and love! Thanks for surprising us again and also thanks for helping me to stay strong again.

TRACKLISTING:
01. Spectre Of Extinction
02. The Paradox
03. The Nightmare Of Being
04. Garden Of Cyrus
05. Touched By The White Hands Of Death
06. The Fall Into Time
07. Cult Of Salvation
08. The Abstract Enthroned
09. Cosmic Pessimism
10. Eternal Winter Of Reason

LINE-UP:
Tomas Lindberg – Vocals
Adrian Erlandsson – Drums
Jonas Björler – Bass
Martin Larsson – Guitar
Jonas Stålhammar – Guitar

LINKS:

At The Gates Promo Pic

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Victor Agusto and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

At The Gates – Manhattan Center, New York City, USA – 12/10/2019

 

A full review of the gig can be found here:

Amon Amarth Berserker World Tour 2019 w/Arch Enemy, At The Gates & Grand Magus – Manhattan Center, New York City, USA – 12/10/2019

 

 

Disclaimer: This photo album is solely the property of Andy Jansons. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of these images, unless you have the strict permission of said party. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

Amon Amarth Berserker World Tour 2019 w/Arch Enemy, At The Gates & Grand Magus – Manhattan Center, New York City, USA – 12/10/2019

00 Poster

Amon Amarth Berserker World Tour 2019
w/Arch Enemy, At The Gates & Grand Magus
Manhattan Center, New York City, USA
12/10/2019
Review and Pictures by Andy Jansons

…And then came the day when Vikings took over New York. No, that is not a plot for a movie, but a real life event. An all Swedish line-up of Grand Magus, At The Gates, Arch Enemy and the mighty Amon Amarth rolled into NYC with the ‘Berserker World Tour’ North American leg. We all know that Amon Amarth can put on a show, but with these three metal beasts in support this was a spectacle for the ages!

The Manhattan Center was packed. While I wasn’t sure of the official count this was definitely a sold out show. First up on stage was Grand Magus, a heavy metal band from Stockholm who delivered a classic Heavy Metal sound that was melodic and often catchy. Their set received a warm reception from the audience, and while not as popular as the following bands they were watched by an already full room. Nobody was skipping the opening acts.

https://www.facebook.com/grandmagusofficial/

Next to play were Gothenburg Melodic Death Metal legends At The Gates. Supporting their latest album “To Drink From The Night Itself” (2018), they opened with the title song, followed by ‘Slaughter Of The Soul’ and ‘At War With Reality’ which were also the respective title songs from their previous two studio albums. To note; they played only tracks from these three albums and skipped all three of their earlier works!

Although the band were in a prolonged hiatus between 1996-2007 they sustained their fans and popularity and are still recognized as trailblazers of the ‘New Wave of Swedish Melodic Death Metal’ and still have three active founding members, vocalist Tomas Lindberg, drummer Adrian Erlandsson and bassist Jonas Björler.

At The Gates wrapped up their set with the closing track from “At War With Reality” entitled ‘The Night Eternal’ which was loud and with its melodic outro stamped an exclamation point on their powerful performance.

02 At The Gateshttps://www.facebook.com/AtTheGatesOfficial/

Next came Arch Enemy who are probably enjoy the most commercial success compared with the previous two bands, thanks to more melodic choruses and of course their Canadian vocalist Alissa White-Gluz, who is widely considered as one of the most beautiful metal female artists. She does bring a whole different dimension to this musical style, making it more attractive to a larger audience. Metal elitists might not be happy, but their success speaks for itself!

While their set was only eight songs, it was packed with metal anthems one after another; ‘The World Is Yours’, ‘War Eternal’, ‘The Eagle Flies Alone’ and ‘Nemesis’ are known worldwide. Considering that the stage was quite small, to help conceal the headliners stage set, throughout the performance Alissa was aggressive in her movements around the stage and quite a few times jumped off the drum riser. She also sung mainly with unclean vocals! Whilst Arch Enemy have been writing new material, their latest album “Will To Power” dates back to 2017.

03 Arch Enemyhttps://www.facebook.com/archenemyofficial/

Amon Amarth are frequent guests stateside, and every time their shows are spectacular, even if they are not headlining. This time, as the main act, they really brought there ‘A’ game. There was a giant Viking helmet positioned centre stage with drummer Jocke Wallgren above it and guitarists Olavi Mikkonen & Johan Söderberg, bassist Ted Lundström and vocalist Johan Hegg at the front trying to avoid random Vikings, serpents and other creatures appearing on stage. There was a lot of smoke and fire… a LOT of fire and random explosions mixed in for good measure. Why not? It was an Amon Amarth show after all!

The band who are currently supporting their latest studio album “Berserker”, which saw the light of day back in May of this year, opened with the first single from that album ‘Raven’s Flight’. From the start we entered into a loud and powerful Viking world, just don’t mention ‘Viking Metal’ to the band. Even though everything they do is about Vikings and Scandinavian mythology they prefer to be labelled Melodic Death Metal. So it was Melodic Death Metal about Vikings!!

The first creature came on stage during the track ‘Deceiver Of The Gods’, a fantastic demonic looking warrior with burning eyes and long horns. This was the title track from their 2013 album and, altogether, their setlist was pretty comprehensive including material from six of their eleven studio albums to date!

Amon Amarth completed their set with another bang and one of their most well-known songs from the earlier days ‘Twilight Of The Thunder God’. With that, an epic, visually and sonically, exceptional performance came to an end and their Viking ship sailed away from NYC harbour until the next time.

04 Amon Amarthhttps://www.facebook.com/amonamarth/

 

FURTHER LINKS:
https://www.facebook.com/ManhattanCenter
https://www.facebook.com/nuclearblast.uk/
https://www.facebook.com/centurymedia/
https://www.facebook.com/metalbladerecords/

 

 

Disclaimer: This review is solely the property of Andy Jansons and Ever Metal. It is strictly forbidden to copy any part of this review, unless you have the strict permission of both parties. Failure to adhere to this will be treated as plagiarism and will be reported to the relevant authorities.

All photos courtesy of Andy Jansons