Album Review: At The Gates – At War With Reality

635433662675279031AtTheGatesAtWarWithRealityToo many times have bands taken a 10+ year hiatus in between albums and very seldom is that album successful. At The Gates of Gothenburg, Sweden have been one of the most influential bands in the Swedish Death Metal scene as a part of that Gothenburg sound or as many of you know it as Melodic Death Metal. Since their disbanding in 1996, members of ATG have been in many bands that we have grown to love from The Haunted to Cradle of Filth and Disfear amongst many others. Up until recently many had thought that their only hope for some At The Gates was to catch them on their Reunion tours in 2007, which if you were lucky enough to catch one of those performances they were a night to remember! Up until recently catching them live was as good as it was going to get, then early in 2014 a youtube video arose showing screen shots of distorted lines (possible instrument tracks) followed by the year “2014.” This could have meant a number of things, but what everyone was hoping for and eventually got was new At The Gates material. We would soon find out that they were going to put out a new album entitled “At War With Reality” sometime later in the year.

Now with the way that some of the Gothenburg bands have gone with their music, *cough* In Flames *cough* some might have been skeptical as to what ATG could possibly sound like with almost Twenty years between albums, that ended terribly for Guns ‘n’ Roses and without having heard a blip since January about the new album anticipation grew fierce. Upon hearing our first clip of the record a few weeks ago, things were looking up album track “At War With Reality” was given to us as a lyric video and it Slaughtered our Souls!

We were lucky enough to get our hands on a copy of the album a week or so ago, and without saying too much. . . Aww, to hell with it this could very easily be one of the best Metal albums of 2014. To put it another way, Twenty years don’t mean shit to Tomas Lindberg, the Bjorler brothers and crew, if anything they have taken the time to do what they wanted to do and got it out of their system only to come back and write some truly amazing stuff on At War With Reality.

635433662644390977At War With Reality” is a concept album on the literary genre of Magic Realism. It kicks off with the hispanic spoken word/Instrumental track ‘El Altar del Dios Desconocido‘ meaning the Altar of the Unknown God which leads right into the first single ‘Death and the Labyrinth.’ ‘Death and the Labyrinth‘ kicks it off with a fast paced death metal track filled with blast beats, machine gun double bass, and guitar riffs that remind you that At The Gates is here to kick ass and take names.

Throughout the album, there is no reason to stop banging your head from start to finish its like ATG never took a break. The title track of the album would have surely fit in with the rest of the “Slaughter of the Soul” album had it been written 20 years ago. While its tough to pick a favorite song off this album, a few songs that stick out are ‘Heroes and Tombs‘, ‘Eater of Gods‘, ‘The Book of Sand (The Abomination)‘ and of course ‘At War With Reality‘ and ‘Death and the Labyrinth.’

One thing that really sticks out on this album is the fact that there are quite a few songs that actually build up to the heaviness. Rather than just coming out and ripping you a new one they take their time to get there, much appreciated though, it gives the neck time to rest before the next assault!

At War With Reality, is packed with everything you wanted, yearned for, missed from At The Gates from ripping guitar solos to crunching guitars and pummeling drums, lets not forget Tomas‘s signature vocals either which by the way sound better than ever on this album. The only complaint, and this comes along with any album that is long overdue is that there isn’t enough. The album sits just shy of 50 minutes, granted they worked their asses off it just seems like after all that time they would’ve done a double album. Ok enough greed for now, in all seriousness this album fills that need of some good old fashioned Swedish Death Metal, lets just hope that it carries on to make another album in a couple years 🙂

Track Listing:

1. “El Altar del Dios Desconocido” (Instrumental) 1:06
2. “Death and the Labyrinth” 2:33
3. “At War with Reality” 3:09
4. “The Circular Ruins” 4:28
5. “Heroes and Tombs” 3:59
6. “The Conspiracy of the Blind” 3:19
7. “Order from Chaos” 3:26
8. “The Book of Sand (The Abomination)” 4:28
9. “The Head of the Hydra” 3:38
10. “City of Mirrors”  (Instrumental) 2:06
11. “Eater of Gods” 3:51
12. “Upon Pillars of Dust” 2:39
13. “The Night Eternal” 5:37
Total length:
44:17

 

Rating: 5/5

You can get this album from your local record store (Best Buy, F.Y.E.) iTunes, Century Media store, etc. this album is out now!

R.I.Y.L. – In Flames, Entombed, Dark Tranquillity, The Haunted

 

 

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