One of the pioneers from the Gothenburg melodic death metal sound At The Gates returned to full force to release one of the most progressive sounding albums in their career being 2021’s The Nightmare Of Being and is released on Century Media Records. This time around, they’ve marked a new chapter while keeping the traditional melodic death metal sound fans come to know and love with this album. At the Gates make a triumphant return to the melodic death metal scene with such history that contributed to the establishment of one of the most recognizable and eclectic genres in metal, coming back with a new record after a long hiatus and set the bar to make great music.
Musically, the album is excellent while the songwriting, heavy sound and top notch production welcomed us with some of the fastest, aggressive and ambitious At The Gates albums to date. The band’s sense for melody isn’t entirely missing or faded out but instead, they’ve incorporated melodic intermezzos, as well as some quasi-contemplative and calm sections, that give a little respite from the full-blown and stone-crushing violence of the heavier passages throughout the first and secondary half of the record. This shifts in style, however are presented in a perfectly blended and balanced mixture, never sounded artificial or out of its righteous place.
It’s clearly shown At The Gates not only returned to create outstanding melodic death metal signatures, perfect songwriting, beautiful solos, unforgettable riffs and memorable vocals, At The Gates managed to stay with their roots while also experimenting with their sound without damaging the goods too much. They’re the only band far as I’m concerned that has truly made an album that satisfied me to the fullest front to back and they’ve succeeded where many bands failed to bring to the table, which is something most bands lack of. The Nightmare Of Being will not only but surely satisfy fans of the melodic death metal scene but it’s definitely a 2021 contender for album of the year list.
Overall Score: 9.0/10
Review by Jake Butler