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With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness

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Album Review

Coming off their competent, but hardly groundbreaking, debut, The Red in the Sky Is Ours, few would have picked At the Gates as death metal superstars in the making. Yet, with their sophomore effort, the grandly named With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, the boys from Gothenburg, Sweden, made significant strides to proving most everyone wrong. Possibly their most experimental outing, the album contained a number of highlights in "Burning Darkness" and "Raped by the Light of Christ" (oooo-kay), whose unbridled fury and insidious melodies would serve as rough blueprints for future triumphs. On the other hand, technically ambitious, more involved experiments like "Ever-Opening Flower" and the seven-minute "Primal Breath" come off too contrived and ultimately can't compare in terms of intensity to their more concise counterparts. Still, it was obvious that the once samey Swedes had serious potential, if only they could find a way to harness their power and aggression into shorter bursts — something they would achieve with their next effort, the much improved Terminal Spirit Disease.

Biography

Formed: 1990 in Gothenburg, Sweden

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

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...
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