At the Gates – “Slaughter of the Soul”


The making of At the Gates’ “Slaughter of the Soul”

released: 1995

label: Earache


In May of 1995, At the Gates entered Studio Fredman in Gothenburg, Sweden, to record what would be their fourth and final full-length, Slaughter of the Soul. Unbeknownst to the band’s members—not to mention heshers, headbangers and mustache warriors worldwide—it would become the most influential death metal album of the next decade. In the States, the now-legendary “Blinded By Fear” video hit Headbanger’s Ball face-first, and Rikki Rachtman’s red-eyed disciples were stupefied. Milk shot from a veritable legion of hairy nipples on the way to the record store, but the fallout wasn’t fully ascertainable until many years later, when Shadows Fall, Killswitch Engage, and countless other metal/hardcore crossover bands began incorporating what became known as the “Gothenburg Sound” into their sonic templates. Vocalist Tomas Lindberg’s immortal command—“Go!”—in the opening seconds of Slaughter’s title track had become the war cry for a generation of future hardcore heroes and metal mercenaries. Unfortunately, during the seven consecutive months of touring that followed Slaughter of the Soul’s release, At the Gates went tits up in a blaze of alcohol and bad blood. While Lindberg went on to front half the metal bands in Sweden (The Great Deceiver, Hide, Nightrage, The Crown, Lock Up, Disfear), brothers Anders (guitar) and Jonas Björler (bass) formed The Haunted with drummer Adrian Erlandsson (currently of Cradle of Filth); guitarist Martin Larsson faded into the private sector (he still plays music, but not professionally). For the first time since the band’s demise, Decibel tracked down all five members of At the Gates to find out why Slaughter of the Soul is so fucking good.

—J. Bennett

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