Hi all, and welcome to another Music Monday, an idea that originated at The Tattooed Book Geek – ‘just a nobody with a blog’ (wordpress.com).
Let’s start with a little story time.
Seven years ago, I was sorta breaking into music journalism. I was writing for a sadly defunct website named Thrash Hits and eying up breaking through my imposter syndrome to submit to Terrorizer or Metal Hammer (the amount of Thrash Hits writers who took that route was a big reason behind it ceasing to run, and needless to say that I let my imposter syndrome take over when I no longer had that weekly impetus and contact).
Anyway, as part of that, I once got emailed a fantastic opportunity – not only would I get a review copy of At The Gates’ new album At War with Reality, but a shot to interview Tomas Lindberg, the band’s frontman. For those non-metal people, this was a big deal. It had been eighteen years between At The Gates records, eighteen years since Slaughter of the Soul propelled them to the top of the pile and influenced a generation – but as part of a process that broke the band. They weren’t quite my favourite band of all time, but they were close.
So I said yes. Of course I said yes. I ran from Camden Overground station on a sticky summer day, frantically checking my phone, to try and arrive at the PR offices vaguely on time. I asked horribly nervous questions, then relaxed as Tompa pondered and opened up about everything. We talked a little longer than we should. It was a great experience, one that should really drive me back to seeking out music journalism opportunities, and also one that let me know I enjoy interviewing more than just about anything when it goes right. In fact I’m so fantastically proud of that interview I’m going to post the link. If you read it, you might notice Lindberg making mention of a song called The Night Eternal.
I gave the album a 6/6. Sometimes I wonder if that was the right call. Part of why I did was this song was the perfect album closer. How to describe this song? There is a balance to it, caught between the chaotic brutality of the music and a pensive melancholy, like a chained prisoner raging in futility. The high notes lures in over the relentless drive of the rhythm section. And I don’t think anyone pulls off the high pitched metal rasp like Tompa.
That’s some of why I share this song with you. Other than it being a banger of course. Let me know what you think below.