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At War with Reality

4.6 out of 5 stars 50 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

At the Gates, godfathers of the 'Gothenburg style' melodic death metal sound, return almost 20 years to set the story straight on who wears the extreme metal crown. 'AT WAR WITH REALITY is the highly-anticipated follow up to 1995's SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL, with the lineup intact from that landmark album. 'The album was recorded with Fredick Nordstrom at Studio Fredman and mixed by by Jens Bogren at Fascination Street Studios.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. El Altar Del Dios Desconocido
  2. Death and the Labyrinth
  3. At War with Reality
  4. The Circular Ruins
  5. Heroes and Tombs
  6. The Conspiracy of the Blind
  7. Order from Chaos
  8. The Book of Sand (The Abomination)
  9. The Head of the Hydra
  10. City of Mirrors
  11. Eater of Gods
  12. Upon Pillars of Dust
  13. The Night Eternal


Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 27, 2014)
  • Original Release Date: October 27, 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Century Media
  • ASIN: B00N1W3V82
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,905 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At The Gates: Slaughter of the Soul was the soundtrack to my high school years. Far and away it was the album I listened to and played the most on my guitar during those years and it will forever stand as a nearly perfect album in the long history of Death Metal. Perhaps more than any CD from the Gothenburg Melodic Death bands like Dark Tranquillity or In Flames, it has defined the trajectory of all forms of melodic metal in almost every way.

They always said they wanted to leave on a high note and didn't want to mess with their legacy with SotS unless they were at a place in their lives where they felt they could do something "better" than album. I think that's just an impossibility to be honest. There are albums like Opeth's "Still Life" or Death's "Symbolic" or In Flames "The Jester Race" that will just forever remain in a vacuum of near perfection. Bands constantly try to one up their best work and that's probably a mistake. Certain things just are what they are. SotS is one such album.

Having said all that, I've had little time to fully dive into this album more than a couple of times, but I set my expectations at something like, "I don't expect something better than SotS, I just expect something that sounds like ATG." They've succeeded on that front here. I'm happily surprised that the Bjorlers were able to slip right back into their ATG writing style and attain a sound that really does feel as though it could have come a few years after SotS.

The first thing you'll notice is the mixing job. The distortion, one of the best features of SotS, is again thick, heavy, but clear.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I was one of many who were there when ATG release Slaughter of the Soul back in '96. Then I heard about the reformation and decided to go back and listen to SOTS again with fresh ears. After almost 20 years I think I appreciate what the group did/is doing much better now. After hearing about the reformation and new album I preordered it ASAP. The two preview songs were killer but the album as a whole really reflects why this band has been as influential as they have been. Absolutely murderous album. Brutal. Beautiful. Perfectly produced. After almost 20 years I don't think anyone can complain about the way ATG sounds now. The vocalist voice is a tad deeper but more mature sounding. Same with the songwriting. SOTS is stamped all over the album but the songs themselves are much more maturely written. The same melodic, depressing chaos is still very much intact but oh so much more potent this time around. This has been an amazing year for metal and ATG proves why they are masters of melo death.
A welcomed return and an incredibly flawless album.
Recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
Stop right here. Check your expectations at the door. Unburdened by visions of Slaughter of the Soul or The Red in the Sky is Ours, or of the gloriously executed Carcass comeback album that served as the next logical step for them, you'll be able to enjoy, nay, LOVE, At War With Reality.
Rather than talk about the past or make comparisons, I'll tell you what this is. At War With Reality is a Swedish Death Metal record. It sounds as if all those years and American bands hadn't picked apart the riffs, themes, and tropes of that genre and left nary a trace of it left in the public metal consciousness. It's an album that takes most of it's cues from the mid nineties melodic-death explosion and traces of the mighty best era In Flames and Entombed sounds. I hear "Morphing Into Primal" and "Food For the Gods" as I play this, and that is a great thing. No one plays this type of aggressive, somber, melodic, intricate death metal anymore. So to hear the progenitors of the most identifiable form of Swedish Melodic death incorporating their brethren's techniques into their own mix, is a thing of beauty.
More to the point, all the performances on this album are top notch. The Bjorler brothers create magical riff interplay with Larsson. Lindberg is at his screeching best with very meta lyrics that you can immerse yourself in. Erlandsson bashes and propels his kit with an almost unending intensity. All of it is mixed and recorded expertly with a very smooth but heavy edge that lets each performance shine.
It may not have been the album you were expecting them to make, but it makes them the kings of a throne that has been deserted by all it's former rulers, including themselves. What may seem like the smart thing to do, (SOTS pt.2) isn't the interesting thing to do, and At The Gates have made a crucial move towards not just recapturing the past, but moving ahead in the future.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Love the new ATG!
Considering that the band hasn't been together for quite some time it is no big surprise that all the songs are killer - they've had a lot of time to write the material! In quality it reminds me of Exodus' renewal with "Tempo of the Damned" - there just isn't a bad song.
Unlike some other comeback albums, there isn't a sign that this was leftover material, or filler...ATG delivers a worthy follow up to "Salughter of The Soul". This band is back with a vengeance!
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