At the Gates - "Slaughter of the Soul"

At the Gates – “Slaughter of the Soul”

At the Gates - "Slaughter of the Soul"

At the Gates – “Slaughter of the Soul”

More like slaughter of my eardrums.

At the Gates completes their transition into a boring melodeath outfit, and if you have any history with the sub-genre, you’ll know by experience that what gets called melodeath is ten times out of ten just metalcore that is too ashamed of its true nature.

How gay. How cuck.

How far from “The Red in the Sky is Ours” have At the Gates fallen? Will they descend to Carcass levels of infamy?

“Slaughter of the Soul” is really mediocre radio rock. There very little heavy metal, and absolutely no death metal, on this record.

And the few metal parts that do appear make Nightwish sound like fucking Sewer by comparison, that’s how soft they are. Now I’m not going to sit here and say that heaviness and brutality are a necessary prerequisite for the purity of metal – well, except when the band itself calls their music DEATH METAL – but you go waaaay too far when half the material on your CD is, literally, effete rock and roll.

I’m not kidding. “Blinded by Fear” is a soft rock song with about 30 seconds of double bass and somewhat harsh vocals. The title track is the same.

I suppose the most amazing thing is that a lot of the incredibly soft material on this record doesn’t even manage to be particularly interesting, memorable or even tuneful. Half the riffs seriously make no goddamn sense on any melodic level, which is kind of a problem when you’re playing cuddly rock/metal (and even more so when you go out of your way to call your radio rock music “melodic” death metal).

I wouldn’t have nearly as much bitterness towards this if the band was actually competent at writing soft rock. Soft rock isn’t that bad. There are plenty of pop artists who, despite their inherent gayness, can write a simple tune and make it captivating. They can write songs that manage to sound “good”, or at least “pleasant”, regardless of what your tastes typically are.

At the Gates fails even at that. So let’s see what At the Gates can’t do. One: They can’t play any particularly extreme breed of metal, since they got rid of their only competent musician Alf Svensson. Two: they can’t play gentle, cuddly metal either, otherwise they would be Nightwish and not competing with the bottom of the Nuclear Blast barrel. Three: they can’t even play soft rock, as evidenced by this epic failure “Slaughter of the Soul”.

So what can this band do? I have no idea, because whatever they managed on “The Red in the Sky is Ours” was clearly due to the presence of Alf Svensson, and it never shows up on this CD, and I’m pretty sure metalcore is dead anyway so I’ve wasted enough time on this band.

Listen to “Withdrawal” and “Verminlust” instead of boring melodefkor.

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