At The Gates - At War With Reality

At The Gates At War With Reality cover
At The Gates
At War With Reality
Century Media
At The Gates is one of the first Swedish death metal bands which “created” that Swedish death metal sound that we still revel in from newer acts today. Even though they managed to release only 4 full-length albums, they were very popular and beloved among the death metallers of the 90s. They broke up in the mid90s which shocked the metal community somehow & especially the Scandi fans, but that’s life and music.
They re-united in 2007, with the “Slaughter of the Soul” line-up, just for some reunion live shows and they were totally clear that no new album was going to be released ever. Well, how true was that? That left a bittersweet taste on their fans, but what the hell… who knows what the future holds? So better keep it low.
Anyhow a new album is out, as we speak, almost 20 years after the band’s last album “Slaughter of the Soul”. The extreme metal fans should be more than glad. I’m sure some will “praise it” and others will “hate it”; that’s the story behind such comeback albums most of the times.
Fredrik Nordström (Dimmu Borgir, Firewind, Arch Enemy, Dark Tranquillity, etc.) has delivered a great production and Jens Bogren (Katatonia, Paradise Lost, Amon Amarth, Emperor, Opeth, etc.) has also done an excellent job on the album’s mixing and mastering. I had no doubt that the sound was going to be superb.
Musically, At the Gates do what they know best. They follow their “old music formula” and judging by the fans’ reaction, this is exactly what their (old) devotees wanted from them. There’s nothing new or “experimental” here. Why would there be such a thing in the first place? At The Gates are known for their fast-tempo thrash/death metal tracks and for their mid-tempo heavy-death ones. And “At War With Reality” has them both.
Even if this music style sounds (and it is) somewhat “outdated” to my ears, we cannot bypass the fact that At The Gates are one of the pioneering Swedish melodeath acts, so they have every right to play (again) that kind of music. I’ll take this any day over some newcomer copycats that rip-off the old bands (like At The Gates) and they are praised by the young fans and all kinds of (paid) media…