Release Date: Oct 28, 2014
Record label: Century Media
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Heavy Metal
At the Gates' Slaughter of the Soul closed with "The Flames of the End," and so it was for the next 19 years: the career end of one of metal's brightest young bands had seemingly gone up in a blaze. However, the impressive thing about the return of the progenitors of Swedish melo-death isn't the time elapsed since their last album; rather, it's how much it sounds like none has. At War With Reality sounds like it could have been written in 1996, before the pressure of doing so led to their untimely demise.This followup to Slaughter of the Soul is hardly a carbon copy.
Whether either band likes it or not, the careers of At the Gates and their British colleagues in Carcass will always be connected. Both bands began their careers playing music much more brutal and less accessible than the melodic death metal they pioneered and ultimately became best known for. Both bands influenced an entire generation of heavy music, for better (Darkest Hour, The Black Dahlia Murder) and for worse (almost every modern metalcore band).
Death metal titans At The Gates release their latest album this month. Here's what we made of it It doesn’t quite match the ultra-focused ferocity of its predecessor – the enormously influential ’95 effort ‘Slaughter Of The Soul’ - but ‘At War With Reality’ is anything but anticlimactic. Nineteen years on from their paradigm-shifting opus, At The Gates are still masters of melodic death metal.
It’s been 19 years since At the Gates released Slaughter of the Soul, one of the best, most innovative, and most influential metal albums of the '90s. Maybe it was a little too influential—because now that Slaughter’s "will-it-ever-come?" follow-up, At War With Reality, has arrived, it’s got a big cross to bear. The Gothenburg death-metal titans have reconvened at a time when their precise, abrasively melodic sound has been repurposed—and re-repurposed—by about a zillion mediocre melodeath and metalcore outfits.
Review Summary: Meh the meh.If one were to write an epitaph for melodic death metal, it would probably read something along the lines of: “Born in 1991. Died in 2006. Passed a decade after lapsing into a vegetative state,” or maybe, ”Raised in Sweden. Peaked in Britain. Co-opted by American ….
It’s been 19 years since Swedish melodic death metallers At The Gates released their genre-changing swansong, Slaughter Of The Soul. And it’s a tough racket for them to try to come back: Countless bands have emulated their sound in the meantime, turning melodic death from a truly exciting proposition to one of the most oversaturated genres in underground music. So how can At The Gates possibly still sound interesting in 2014? Well, it pains me to say this, but they don't, really.