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Album Review: At the Gates "Slaughter of the Soul"

Updated on November 1, 2023
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Ara is a journalism graduate from California State University, Northridge, who is always looking to explore his writing opportunities.

At the Gates is One of Those Bands You Will be Glad to Listen To

At the Gates is a band that is considered one of the main bands that have adopted the Gothenburg style of melodic death metal. I began listening to their 4th studio album called Slaughter of the Soul and was very easily and quickly impressed! This is their last studio album before their first disbandment in 1996. The style is very much in the direction of early In Flames and you can hear the complex melodies of the guitar work which is a giveaway but you know what? Quality music like this deserves love, admiration, praise, and respect. Slaughter of the Soul is only 34 minutes long but it is 34 minutes that the avid melodic death metal fan wants to spend listening, analyzing, and interpreting the musical beauty that is on this album.


Who Plays on The Album "Slaughter of the Soul?"

Tomas Lindberg: vocals (he was also the former vocalist for the Greek melodic death metal band Nightrage).

Anders and his twin brother Jens Bjorler

Adrian Erlandsson

Martin Larsson

What is the Musical Style of the Album?

From the first song called Blinded by Fear you know this album is going to be something special. For me at least, Swedish melodic death metal is just a fine choice of music to listen to make a rough night better. The title track is especially in the style of The Jester Race.

What Are the Main Lyrical Themes of the Album?

The lyrical themes of the album center on the flaws of human nature including deception, wickedness, and other vices. Sometimes we have to get rid of a life of lies because we have seen enough vices in our world. Those who lie incessantly set themselves up for more misfortune in the end even if they become wealthy and successful as a result of those lies.

What is the Song Cold About?

Lyrically the next song called Cold is pretty much the same as the previous song. Some people attempt to rid the world of deception and lies only to find out that the walls are closing in on them. The walls are definitely moving away from me as the motivation to write is ever so strong even on a night where I may not be feeling my best.

Under a Serpent Sun and Into the Dead Sky are Essential Songs Worth Checking Out

Under a Serpent Sun is a song that tells the story of how man came to be on this Earth. There is no rest for the children of GOD as the end of life will be the same for all of us. In this world the survival of the fittest is what dominates whether it is fair or not. Into the Dead Sky is mostly an acoustic instrumental song that fans would have heard in the early to mid-1990’s. This period should be thought of as a sort of “golden age” for heavy metal due to the rise and immense popularity of melodic death metal which was really taking shape. It is a particularly great instrumental song to listen to on any night as the classical style will take your mind off any bad things or bad thoughts. The musical nature of this song may have influenced other bands later and it speaks to the talent of these guys.

More Analysis of the Lyrical Themes

The album's songs tell of a world that is filled with deceit and lies and unfortunately the ability of human beings to have free will has given them the opportunity to be liars and deceitful. Human nature is corrupted to a certain degree but it doesn’t need to be that way because we can work to change things but we have to be the ones to show others what the proper direction is.

"Under a Serpent Sun"

How Good or Great of an Album is Slaughter of the Soul?

Basically, Slaughter of the Soul is a well-constructed melodic death metal album but it is also an album that tells us that eventually life will end for all of us in spite of the good and evil that happens in this world. Does the album get a perfect score? Not quite but it does score at least in the low 90’s which is solid enough for these Swedes.

"Into the Dead Sky"

Rate the Album Slaughter of the Soul

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© 2018 Ara Vahanian


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