Sigh… Here we go again. Another fucking band that I can’t even fathom why I slept on for so long. Especially this band because 1; they’re melodic death metal from the mid 90’s, 2; they’re Swedish, and 3; they fucking rule. Yet here we are. Well, as some asshole surely said, “better late than never.”

I know hearing this band now for the first time it might be hard to separate them from the hordes of bands that have done the Swedish melodic death thing since the mid 90s and the Gothenburg explosion but even by today’s standards this album simply fucking rules. Gates of Ishtar are a quintessential Swedish melodic death metal band and probably exemplify the sound of that country and that time period perfectly. Boarding on black metal (cough cough Dissection) Gates has some of the most insanely infectious melodic guitar hooks and riffs you’ve heard, and that’s saying something considering they’re from the land of infectious melodic guitar hooks.

They whole album goes on like that. Riff after amazing riff, intensely melodic, and amazingly constructed. Fuck, this is the kind of metal from Sweden I live for.

So yeah, fuck me for slacking on this but you don’t have to suffer the same fate as me. Put this album on right fucking now.

PS. My review is of the latest reissued version and is one of the rare cases where I actually like the new cover art. Still, the original is better.