"Perfect" is a word often used in reviews, usually without justification. But there's an argument for its use when describing Slaughter of the Soul, the final album by Gothenburg's At The Gates, originally released in 1995. As a musical expression of sheer disgust at this dirty world, you won't find better anywhere. This is partly due to the album's brevity: Just over half an hour long, it makes its painful, exhilarating point and ends--no posing, no preening. The same lack of self-indulgence shows through in the music itself.
Though often compared to Slayer, ATG were never self-consciously heavy. Instead, over their pulverising riffs, ATG use guitar harmonics much as Judas Priest did in the late 1970s ("Blinded by Fear" and the title track): they introduce delicate instrumentals recalling mid-period Black Sabbath ("Into the Dead Sky"): they even risk an atmospheric epic in "The Flames of the End", with its grand keyboard refrain, spectral whistles, electronic squeals and occasional metallic blast. Throughout, Tomas Lindberg delivers the most distraught and disturbing shriek. During "Unto Others", he even does it over a beautiful pastoral guitar--a brave and thrilling juxtaposition. Added to the album here are covers of Slaughterlord, No Security and Slayer: two demos and an unreleased track from the Slaughter. sessions. None of them add to the glorious original.
Cat No: MOSH143CD
Packaging: CD Regular
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