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At The Gates - With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness
09.05.2023 | Scarlet Songs of Flowers and Flesh

Before At The Gates locked into the impeccable groove that would yield their undisputed kingmaker, Slaughter Of The Soul, and leave an indelible impact on the evolution of melodic death metal and metalcore, they were an almost formless entity. Their first two albums are swarms of otherworldly chaos, creeping weirdness, shifting time signatures, unstable tempos, bizarre melodies, and lurching riffs and percussion that seem to change direction with each passing measure - so far-removed from the "angrier thrash" template of most early death metal as to be incomparable. While The Red In The Sky Is Ours typically gets more attention for these qualities, for me, With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness is the secret jewel of the band's discography: it has all of that unpredictability (plus a raft of undisputable classics and poetic, strikingly colorful lyrics), but it's all packed within the deepest, darkest, and most luscious production they ever achieved. The distortion is heavy but the tones are a luxurious purple-red-black, and Tompa's gutting shrieks are as frigid and biting as the void itself; you can feel time tearing itself in the riffs. This is a perfect illustration of the sound of burning darkness.

This magnificent album turned 30 this week, so take some time to pay special attention to the most underappreciated album of At The Gates's early work.
Thumbs up: Nejde, RaduP, Redel, Netzach, Daniell, nikarg, Starvynth, X-Ray Rod

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