At the Gates – To Drink from the Night Itself (Century Media)

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You never forget your first time and my initial encounter with At the Gates occurred during the run up to the release of what is considered, in some quarters at least, to be their seminal release Slaughter of the Soul. Noisy Mothers, a late night / early hours of the morning television rock show that used to air weekly before such things were popularised by the rise of satellite broadcasting, played the video for Blinded by Fear and within the first twenty seconds of its lead riff kicking in, I was hooked. And I’ve been a fan ever since. Bridging the chasm between thrash metal and D-Beat Hardcore, At the Gates specialise in ferocious, technical, fast aggressive music that epitomises the final moments of the original crossover scene. They pushed against the boundaries that had previously confined them and shattered the walls of the scenes that they had jointly emerged from, and To Drink from the Night Itself continues to expand their incredible legacy in fine fettle. It’s everything that an At the Gates record should be, exploding, following the brief instrumental introduction Der Widerstand, in a flurry of  vesting thrash fury on the title track, they don’t let up until the final moments of album closer The Mirror Black have faded into nothingness.  To Drink from the Night Itself is a heads down and if you survive the onslaught of jaw dropping, driving thrash, we’ll see you at the end high octane metal onslaught that solidifies and cements At the Gates position at the top of the thrash food chain. Long may they reign… Tim Cundle

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