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It would have been a classic in 1987... - 80%

Snxke, July 4th, 2004

"At the Gates of Hell" is a classic triumph of style over substance in the most base manner possible. It's well produced, well played and hits every button it's supposed to, but it does little to make black metal, or metal in general...step forward to a day and age where the art of metal has become a bit more intelligent and thoughtful. Even so, the playing and hookcraft on this CD make for a great beer-drinking and horns-throwing experience that one can put on during a party and enjoy more than anything else.

This isn't metal for the thinking man...but it's most certainly fun!

The key songs on this record are "The Devil's Daughters", "At the Gates of Hell" and "Sabbath of Sin". If you want black metal with refrains that you can chant again and again these are the songs for you. Catchy and tightly composed, the band brings you up...and drops you on your head at the correct moments. Lyrically, the band does the typical "we *heart* satan" bit and it works well enough to go with these idiotically catchy tunes. The band must know how goofy this is...and because of that it works.

If you love classic NWOBHM, Venom, AC/DC styled hooked or anything dumb, but brilliantly this CD now. Don't let anyone fool you into thinking that some sort of progression or typical Swedish violence is being portrayed though.