At the Gates Slaughter of the Soul

Reissues are either generally useless, a cheap ploy when a label needs some cash or offensive to fans of the band at hand. This reissue of the groundbreaking At the Gates album from 1995 is at least one, maybe two, of the above. It does have a good amount of bonus songs - six in total - but none of them are worth losing sleep over (a Slayer cover and one unreleased song are the highlights). If people already have the original, and everyone generally does (it's not hard to find, making this reissue sort of pointless; a rarities disc would have been more fun), they don't really need this. Having said that, it is important that everyone double-check their collection to make sure this disc is in there, as it has already gone down once in history as an extremely important turning point in extreme metal. At the Gates, circa 1995, added gobs of melody to their speedy death/thrash assault and combined it with scratchy vocals that were almost easy to understand and possessed a nice emotive edge. This is an album that hadn't been matched until Soilwork's latest. (Earache)