Four years after their long awaited 2014 comeback release At War with Reality, Swedish melodic death metal pioneers At The Gates unleash their indomitable spirit, ceaseless ingenuity, and raw power on sixth full-length effort, To Drink From The Night Itself. It was produced with Russ Russell (Napalm Death, The Haunted, Dimmu Borgir) at Parlour Studios in the UK and recorded sans long-standing guitarist Anders Björler. The loss of Anders wasn't the death knell of At The Gates. Rather, the departure of the six-stringer reinforced Tomas Lindberg and Jonas Björler's resolve to reimagine and reshape the band musically.
"The last record is a comeback record after 19 years," Lindberg asserts. "To Drink From The Night Itself is a comeback record after Anders left. That kind of pressure keeps us alive and alert, creatively." Jonas ensured the band's sonic fingerprint would endure unweathered, while Lindberg's trademark roars and studious lyrics would continue the band's erudite message through desperate bouts of aggression. To wit, tracks like "A Stare Bound In Stone," "Daggers Of Black Haze," "In Nameless Sleep," featuring King Diamond guitarist Andy LaRocque, and the title track are definitively At The Gates yet they convey so much more.
Conceptually, To Drink From The Night Itself originated with German writer Peter Weiss and his novel, The Aesthetics Of Resistance. The idea was to capture the desperation of a struggle or resistance, where victory is unachievable yet the fight presses on. Lindberg also was enlivened by Weiss' discussion of art – all forms – via his characters and its various uses, either as a weapon of oppression or as a signal of opposition. As witnessed throughout history, art has been and will be labeled unfairly decadent or ridiculously triumphant or secretly obstructionist.