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At the Gates: “At War With Reality” Album Review by Jason Zins!

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At the Gates: “At War With Reality” Album Review by Jason Zins!

At The GatesAt War With Reality was one of the most anticipated releases of 2014.

It has been almost 20 years since the band that established the “Gothenburg sound” released its pinnacle album, Slaughter of the Soul, which cemented melodic death metal in the annals of music history. But the band broke up soon after its release, and although there were a few festival performances years later, there were many interviews that proclaimed that the chances of another album were bleak. Tomas Lindberg began to change his tune in 2012 stating that a new At The Gates album may be a “possibility.” It’s been a long, two-year wait since that statement, but At War With Reality has arrived.

After “El Altar Del Dios Desconocido,” a brief spoken word intro, the band launches into “Death and the Labyrinth,” which sounds like it could have came straight from Terminal Spirit Disease! It is true to At The Gates‘ trademark sound. The title track follows a similar formula, but features a screaming, melodic guitar solo. Adrian Erlandsson shows that he has not lost his chops on drums over time, and his pace is frantic. “Heroes and Tombs” harkens back to Slaughter of the Soul and the sound that At The Gates not only invented, but perfected. “The Conspiracy of the Blind,” although similar to the previous songs, utilizes dynamics and stellar riffs to steer it into new territory. Every song is thick and layered, and the production is nothing less than stellar throughout. “Order from Chaos” is dark and heavy, albeit slower than the previous songs. “The Book of Sand” is riff-heavy and relies more on the death-metal side of At The Gates than anything else on At War With Reality. It’s insane and frantic. “City of Mirrors” interrupts the breakneck pace of the album for a brief two minutes of beautiful chords and melancholy sound. “Eater of the Gods” immediately brings back a sense of reality. The dynamic mix of the album is ever-apparent here, and the guitar sound is amazing!

At The Gates have created a masterpiece, and that’s a mouthful considering their past releases were some of the most influential in their respective genres. It’s the intricacies of each and every song that make this album so epic. At War With Reality is easily one of my top five albums of 2014.

At War With Reality is out now on Century Media Records.

Rating: 5/5 Stars

 

At The Gates - At War With Reality

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