At The Gates - The Red In The Sky Is Ours

"The Red In The Sky Is Ours" (1992) by At The Gates - 5/5

Before At The Gates became a melodeath band, they were one of the most interesting and unique progressive/technical death metal bands around.

With its raw, almost black-metal like recording-quality, this album is a very tense and intimidating album, and that production could take some time getting used to. Melodic but incredibly tense and alien-sounding riffs and leads overlap and swirl around each other in a way that is both incredibly beautiful and bizarre/alienating and sometimes, a violin is brought in so it's like having three-way guitar melodies/solos at some parts.Vocals are very raspy and sound more like they belong on a Burzum or Emperor album, but this actually works to improve the album, making it feel rawer and as if it was recorded in a very large, empty room. While the bass is nearly inaudible, it holds up well and does a great job of supporting the guitar. The drumming though, is especially good. The drummer barely seems to be able to contain himself, as he brings out a lot of colorful, tasty fills, like a hyper-excited version of Black Sabbath's Bill Ward, only with blast-beats, which are used sparingly in the album.

The songwriting and ideas present here are great as well. Sometimes, it's straightforward, melodic and dissonant prog/tech-death, but other times, it creeps along at a medium pace, suddenly bursting into moments of tense, atmospheric guitar acrobatics (no wanking though), alternating between high-speed agression, and oddly relaxing slower sections. And then, ah, the violin parts...goddammit, they should of kept the violinist and wrote their songs to accomadate a violin as basically the 3rd "guitarist".

A perfect album, highly recommended for fans of prog/tech death metal (and even black metal). It even beats out Demilich's mighty "Nespithe" and then takes a shit on Gorguts's "Obscura".

By J. Chan