Slaughter Of The Soul
I seriously doubt that this album still needs to be introduced to all those of you who are reading this or like-minded magazine(s) on a frequently base. "Slaughter Of The Soul" was not only the most straight forward, right into your face and therefore fuckin’ best AT THE GATES release, it was unfortunately also their farewell offering. I often wonder how the Swedish Death Metal underground would sound these days without its existence as it had a massive influence on the origin of the so-called "Gothenburg sound". Musically it was simply the perfect combination of sheer aggression, intense and to the point razor sharp riffing, excellent musicianship and killer melodies. Due to its top notch songwriting (all killers – no fillers!) "Slaughter Of The Soul" quickly became a classic among fans and media alike. But does all that already justify its re-release then, especially when the original version is still around? Well, I’m not here to judge any business decisions, but fact is that this new edition turned out completely amazing. It comes with a deluxe looking, box-like packaging — an enhanced booklet with a bunch of pictures, lyrics and liner-notes to all of the songs — and most important of all — features no less than six bonus tracks!!! Two raw 1995 demo versions (of ‘Unto Others’ and ‘Suicide Nation’) that Earache impressed so much back then that they signed the band straight away, their incredible cover of SLAYER’s ‘Captor Of Sin’ (originally to be found on the "Slatanic Slaughter" compilation from Black Sun Records), an awesome SLAUGHTER LORD cover (‘Legion’ – originally only available on the Japanese edition of "Slaughter Of The Soul"), a NO SECURITY cover (‘Bister Verklighet’) and a track called ‘The Dying’, which originally already got recorded during the album session, but didn’t make the record because the guys considered it not strong enough (what a joke…). So, along with Peaceville’s "Suicidal Final Art" compilation this album should complete the picture of an amazing and sadly missed band after all.
Slaughter Of The Soul
Doing reissues of CARCASS and AT THE GATES in the year of their big reunion shows is actually the most logical thing Earache can do businesswise and taking a serious look at their 90s releases roster they have quite a lot of treasures with a sort of timeless sale capacity in their bunker. As far as I know this is already the third edition of "Slaughter Of The Soul". Compared to my 1995 bought version the CD booklet is much more extended this time; featuring a lot of different photos and some cool retrospective liner notes for each song. Furthermore the audio CD also encloses six bonus tracks that were already published on the second edition, too. Namely we talk about the covers from Australian SLAUGHTERLORD, the SLAYER tribute ‘Captor Of Sin’, the NO SECURITY cover plus two more "Slaughter Of The Soul" based demo versions and the unreleased track from the same session entitled ‘The Dying’. For all of you who don’t know it, you can download all those tracks free and offical from the bands own homepage www.atthegates.se. Wasting more words about the quality of "Slaughter Of The Soul" would be a shame. If you call yourself a Swedish Death Metal crack and you don’t have this one in your collection then run back to your mother’s breast. The ridiculous thing about this album was that "Slaughter Of The Soul" got praised a hell and a lot more years after the releases and the band’s split-up, especially in the bigger Metal media. In their days of existence AT THE GATES never got those flowers. Anyway now about the special item on this reissue, the DVD part. First up is a 8 track live show recorded in Krakow, Poland in 1995. I guess this was a show on their last European tour with UNLEASHED. In some way this show was already available via filesharing for a couple of years, but this final version hear comes in a really good quality, actually a lot better then the bootleg I’ve had before. A great setlist and an awesome performance seeing the band at young age enjoying every minute of it. Tompa is a really outstanding and charismatic fronter and I think reunion wise it will be hard to re-create that feeling again. Lucky dudes who saw them back in the 90s; I haven’t. Furthermore there’s "The making of Slaughter Of The Soul" done as a 35 minutes documentary film on the DVD. Imagine musicians and producer come back 10 years after the original recordings and resume this experience. Really a cool idea, although this is more a kind of thing for the musicians under our readers. The most impressing thing of all is that "Slaughter Of The Soul" still holds standards in terms of extreme Metal productions, even nowadays, but most of all it’s still a sort of handmade album compared with todays recording technics – respect! You can check out trailers for both, the livepart and the documentary, at www.youtube.com. At least the DVD comes a bonus, like the full version of the ‘Blinded By Fear’ videoclip and more minor madness. I must say that this DVD part is really hot as hell for the die hard fans and the package of the booklet is also well done. On one hand this is really done with dedication, but the other way around it’s also a quick way of making money for Earache. If you already have the original version then deceide on your own and those who don’t have that album at all, simply go home!!! www.earache.com
• AT THE GATES - At War With Reality (Julián "Order From Chaos" Núñez)
• AT THE GATES - Suicidal Final Art (Schenk )