And blinding, it is
At The Gates have been putting in work lately. Late spring of last year saw the first album from the Swedish melodic-death metal band in four years, To Drink from the Night Itself, which was also the first album without the talented hand of co-founding guitarist Anders Björler. At The Gates tried to make up for that last bit though, with the addition of some six b-sides tracks as an extra little gift. Those tracks have now become the EP With the Pantheons Blind, and it’s all an At The Gates fan could ask for in a b-side collection.
Some of these tracks may have some familiarity to them, and they should. There’s a rerecorded take on 1993’s “Raped by the Light of Christ” and a demo version of “The Chasm,” as well as some guest vocal renditions of four songs off To Drink… Considering how long At The Gates has been in the game, it’s a treat to hear some of what they would’ve kept behind closed doors.
“The Mirror Black” features the strained, gruff vocals of Rob Miller of Tau Cross and Amebix. It works, as does Per Boder’s (of God Macabre) try at the non-demo version of “The Chasm,” and Craft’s Mikael Nox Pettersson on “A Labyrinth of Tombs.” But as far as sheer, original At The Gates, “Raped by the Light of Christ” couldn’t be more characteristic of what has kept them in death metal sights throughout the years. Its melodic intro slowly builds into a pummeling of drums that ascend into a riot of sound before it chugs into submission. It sounded good in 1993, but it sounds even better now.
Even the demo version of “The Chasm” sounds finely crafted and refined, going further to prove that At The Gates have been well on their game for a long time now. To Drink from the Night Itself was a good addition to their discography, and With the Pantheons Blind could serve well as a good teaser to it.