Entertainment Earth


At The Gates- The Nightmare of Being (Album Review)

 Musicians: At The Gates
Album Title: The Nightmare of Being
Genre/ Subgenre: Melodic Death Metal
Label: Century Media
Release Date: July 2, 2021 

The gods of melodic death metal, At The Gates, are back with their seventh studio The Nightmare of Being. And, in it, they have given us a brave, exciting, and technical masterpiece, that will blow you away from the second the very first track plays.

The band are their prime, delivering complex, dark, and bold sounds that add much depth and clearly sets themselves apart from others in a sub-genre. Which is one that can sometimes suffer from a rather sameness and predictable sound.

This opening track is the thundering and driving "Spectre of Extinction". It's a pounding song that starts off with a beautiful and tranquil guitar note, that soars and builds up as the drums come into play. It then thunders and stampedes across, with an absolutely killer and slicing riff. It's an energetic way to start off a masterful release. Another memorable song is the title track, which starts off in a manner that is beautiful, tranquil, and haunting. The song, itself, is dark and melodic with a strong atmosphere that makes it one of the album's most exciting songs in terms of how daring it is. It also has some of Tomas Lindberg's best vocal work, perhaps ever. "Touched By The White Hands Doom" is a pounding and energized song that starts off somberly until it explodes with energy. I could honestly praise every single song here, but the last one I will touch upon is the closing track, "Cosmic Pessimism". There is a calming start to it that is striking and atmospheric, until its half mark where the energy levels up but still manages to keep the same feeling that the track started with. It ends in a haunting manner that stays with one well after the song, and by extension the album, has finished.

Production is clear with crunching guitars and clear and powerful vocals. This is prime sounding sounding melodic death metal that you feel into your very soul.

The Nightmare of Being is At The Gates finest album since their comeback period. It even manages to surpass the amazing At War with Reality. In fact. the only album in their discography to top it is the influential masterpiece that is Slaughter of the Soul. Destined to be a genre defining classic, this is an easy contender for album of the year.