17 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

Slaughter of the Soul isn’t just a landmark in melodic death metal; it’s one of the very best albums ever released by a Swedish metal band. Which is saying something, considering that, when it comes to metal, Swedes are world-class hell-raisers. At the Gates’ unconventional union of classical flourishes and bestial devastation reaches a fever pitch on the stretch between “Into the Dead Sky” and “World of Lies”. Picture an ornate cathedral; now picture it smeared in gore and guts. That’s what this music sounds like—and it’s electrifying.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Slaughter of the Soul isn’t just a landmark in melodic death metal; it’s one of the very best albums ever released by a Swedish metal band. Which is saying something, considering that, when it comes to metal, Swedes are world-class hell-raisers. At the Gates’ unconventional union of classical flourishes and bestial devastation reaches a fever pitch on the stretch between “Into the Dead Sky” and “World of Lies”. Picture an ornate cathedral; now picture it smeared in gore and guts. That’s what this music sounds like—and it’s electrifying.

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3:27
3:59
2:12
3:36
3:35
3:11
2:23
2:36
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3:54
3:18
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3:05
3:21
1:55

About At the Gates

One of the more melodic death metal bands to expand beyond Sweden and spread their sound across the world alongside peers such as Entombed, At the Gates played a significant role in the death metal genre before breaking up in 1996, leading to the formation of the Haunted. The group's first lineup -- Tomas Lindberg (vocals), Anders Bjorler (guitars), Adrian Erlandsson (drums), Jonas Bjorler (bass), and Alf Svensson (guitars) -- formed in late 1990, recording the Gardens of Grief EP for the Dolores label. They toured Sweden with well-known groups such as Bolt Thrower and Dismember before eventually signing to Peaceville Records, who released their The Red in the Sky Is Ours album. In 1993, they replaced Svensson with Martin Larsson on guitar, released their second album, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, and toured the U.K. with Anathema and Cradle of Filth.

Next came their Terminal Spirit Disease album in May 1994, furthering the band's reputation with critics, who championed their fresh approach to death metal. This acclaim also led to their signing by Earache, who released their Slaughter of the Soul album, which seemed a more realized approach to the melodic style of death metal the group had alluded to on previous releases. Unfortunately, just as At the Gates began to win even more acclaim -- a nomination at the Swedish Grammys, heavy rotation on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, two successful U.S. tours with Morbid Angel and Napalm Death -- the group splintered, with the Bjorler twins and Erlandsson forming the Haunted and Lindberg forming Hide.

The band reunited in 2007 to play a series of shows. They continued to perform live sporadically over the next few years, but claimed they would no longer record until, in 2014, a full 19 years after the release of their last album, they announced that they would be issuing a new studio effort. At War with Reality, a concept album inspired by the literary genre of magic realism, was released in October through Century Media and was every bit as powerful as their previous releases. ~ Jason Birchmeier

  • ORIGIN
    Gothenburg, Sweden
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    1990

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