After announcing their seventh studio album, The Nightmare of Being, a month ago, Swedish melodic death metal pioneers At the Gates have unleashed “Spectre of Extinction” as the LP’s first single. The song comes ahead of the album’s July 2nd release, and boasts a guest appearance by King Diamond guitarist Andy La Rocque.
“Spectre of Extinction” starts off with a cinematic instrumental intro before the heaviness kicks in around the 90-second mark. All told, it’s nearly two minutes before singer Tomas Lindberg Redant comes in with the first growl on the track, which features a blistering guitar solo by La Rocque.
“It is always very hard to choose which song to release to the public first, especially with this album having so many layers and textures,” Lindberg Redant said in a press release. “We did feel, however, that this, the opening track of the record, represented the overall feel of the album. It has the musical depths that you would expect from an At the Gates track, and still carries that intensity and urgency that we have always tried to get across with our music.”
An accompanying music video was directed by longtime collaborator Patric Ullaeus, with Lindberg Redant commenting, “For the video, it was wonderful to be able to continue the work with the mighty Patric Ullaeus, as he understands our vision with the music and is willing to go all the way to portray the song’s inner dimensions.”
He added, “I think he did that excellently with this one and I’m very proud of the result. The lyrics deal with humanity’s will and how that clashes with our consciousness, and our knowledge of our mortality. Enjoy!”
The Nightmare of Being follows 2018’s To Drink From the Night Itself, marking the band’s third album since reuniting following a run of four influential albums in the early ’90s. In addition to being melodic death metal legends, At the Gates are also credited with being a big inspiration to the metalcore bands that would follow in the late ’90s and early 2000s.