At the Gates Albums Ranked

At the Gates is a Swedish death metal band from Gothenburg, formed in 1990. The band was a major progenitor of Gothenburg-style melodic death metal. Prior to their first disbandment in 1996, At the Gates released four albums, ending with and including Slaughter of the Soul (1995), which has been seen as a landmark in the mid-1990s Swedish death metal scene. After reuniting for a one-off tour in 2008, the band reformed once again in 2011, and they have since released three more albums: At War with Reality (2014), To Drink from the Night Itself (2018), and The Nightmare of Being (2021). Here are all of At the Gates albums ranked.

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7. The Nightmare of Being (2021)

AT THE GATES | The nightmare of being MEDIABOOK - Nuclear Blast

“It’s a tricky record that is perhaps more keen on being interesting than outright entertaining. Nonetheless, the experimentation on The Nightmare of Being is certainly worth celebrating.”

6. To Drink From The Night Itself (2018)

To Drink from the Night Itself - Single by At The Gates | Spotify

“The only thing the album can really be proud of is a surprisingly strong, hefty atmosphere, pending doom hanging over you like a sword or hammer. As you go deeper into the album the feeling of mourning, grieving, despairing grows bigger and bigger on you. Yet, amidst this gloom and dark, waste-deep in swamp, you want to jump out of it and get to a speedy, thrashy piece to remind you of Slaughter, just like the first single does. And… Well, like I said, the second half will rather lulls you into eternal sleep than wakes you with the bang and aarrrgggh of a killer track.”

5. Terminal Spirit Disease (1994)

At The Gates - Terminal Spirit Disease | Veröffentlichungen | Discogs

“It was very hard to decide which album is greater, Terminal Spirit Disease or Slaughter of the Soul because first one is the groundwork for “Gothenburg sound” and second one is the peak achievement in that sound. Finally i decided for the first one. Those only six new At the Gates songs have been a huge influence in second largest death metal wave. Music is at the same time melodic and very harsh, without any unnecessary sound decorations, while Slaughter of the Soul has more tougher sound with cleaner production. Finally, particular attraction to this album gives Thomas with his unique infernal vocal which does entirely concur with lyrics.”

4. At War With Reality (2014)

At the Gates: At War With Reality Album Review | Pitchfork

“Surprisingly, At War With Reality holds some of the heaviest passages At The Gates have ever written. On top of that, this is (in my opinion) Tompa Lindberg’s best vocal performance ever — be it with At the Gates, Disfear, Lock Up, Great Deceiver or anyone else. He still belts out lyrics with his iconic rasp, but there’s a deeper register and fullness to his screams that I haven’t heard him eploy before. It goes a long to to further give AWWR its own personality — one that will probably require a few spins before it can be fully appreciated.”

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3. With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness (1993)

AT THE GATES ‎'With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness' - M...

“This is a really dense album that takes many listens to properly enjoy, and it really is worth it. The guitars work together in a way that i can safely assume hasn’t been done to this standard in death metal before or since, they complement each other in a way that seems almost bizarre. The vocals are distinctive and the lyrics poetic. The drums are executed with a light touch which for me adds another layer of feeling to the music, and unfortunately the bass is very difficult to pick out. This release is reeking in originality, and seen as this is Alf Svensson’s last album i cant help but think he came up with the best guitar parts, and the guitar is definitely what will keep me coming back for more.”

2. The Red In The Sky Is Ours (1992)

At the Gates - "The Red in the Sky is Ours" | Decibel Magazine

“Slaughter Of The Soul often seems to overshadow the rest of this band’s discography, but I’d argue that this album is actually their masterpiece. The thing is that the style on this album is a bit more of an acquired taste compared to the catchy melodeath formula on Slaughter Of The Soul.”

1. Slaughter Of The Soul (1995)

At The Gates - Slaughter Of The Soul by OldMetalLogos on DeviantArt

“Slaughter of the Soul represents in my opinion the most badass example of what was known as the Gothenburg kind of melodic death metal, at least among the most well-known bands in the style. With its fast-paced riffs (almost thrashy) and high-pitched shrieking singing style it feels a tad more extreme than early Dark Tranquility/In Flames, while at the same sounding like if they belonged to the same scene. The sound is a bit raw and the drumming mix is a bit off, but that helps to transmit even more aggression.”