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At the Gates - The Nightmare of Being

Updated: Jul 21, 2021

Overall: 87/100

The melodic death metal masters At the Gates comes back again after 3 years with their new album "The Nightmare of Being" which is probably the most diverse one among the others. Even though it has some ups and downs and lacking former guitar player Anders Björler's musicality, the masters did it very well again.







The starter "Spectre of Extinction" is a classic at the gates song with fast-paced crushing riffs and great melodies. The lead is magnificent, the production quality is much better than the previous album. Tampa preserving his vocal ranges. The heaviness is all there. A great and familiar opening for the band.


"The Paradox" comes with the heavier side of the band, reminds Slaughter of the Soul era with a soul-crushing guitar tone, greatly crafted death metal riffs. Has at War with reality dark theme. Especially, the second part has some, probably, one of the best moments in the album. Even has ambient chants that bring epicness. Loved also the heavy outro.


The title track "The Nightmare of Being" takes a more ambient approach with different vocal ranges and dark speeches. Jonas s great strong bass expands this atmosphere to the universe. The fascinating solo brings the technicality, the drums take the song one more above immersively. The crushing and almost Meshuggah-like outro surprises.



As we going deeper into the album, the unfamiliarity welcomes us. Such as "Garden of Cyrus" Starts as almost like a mastodon song, continues with all musical richness. A great strong bass pattern, fascinating melodies follow the pace. But surprisingly it has even a saksafon work which honestly I did not much like. The main riff is awesome though. One of the best ones on the album.


My favorite one on the album "Touched by the White Hands of Death" starts with a really good instrumental intro which probably will be played as an intro on the concerts. It reminds the old perfect melodic death metal era. There is nothing much to say except it is the best one on the album and even for the discography.


Fast and melodic, "The Abstract Enthroned" takes the pace to the top, and brings the heavy riffs. Continues rapidly and crushy has an orchestral work that surrounds the atmosphere with dark feelings.


Being dark and catchy with clean guitar riffs and rocker tempo drums "Cosmic Pessimism" adds freshness to our ears among this pure death chaos.

Has a great growing chorus as well.


Overall, it is a great follow-up after the mixed feeling one. The masters come back again with their most diverse one. They expand their musical way, "The Nightmare of Being" feels like a mix of all and salted a little bit with fresh feelings.



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