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At War with Reality
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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.Read more ›
A welcomed return and an incredibly flawless album.
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.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Modern metal classic! Brutally catchy from start to finish. These guys are certified vikings.Published 2 months ago by Omar Del Taco
I've always been a big fan of the Swedish Death Metal scene and At The Gates are arguably one of the founders of it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Ryan
this album is actually heavier sounding than Slaughter of the Soul, and the recording sounds "dirtier" which hearkens back to the Sunlight Studios album, With Fear I Kiss... Read morePublished 12 months ago by D Gates
One of the best metal recordings to date..must have for any heavy metal fan....riff after riff, vocal style, prevention, theme... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Kingtoadpipe
I've been a fan of At The Gates since the mid 90's. I have all their prior work and this is an excellent album. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Keith Cohen
Pretty decent, nothing stands out like the new Carcass album,but still pretty goodPublished 15 months ago by YeaThatsMe
Whoa. Hold your horses. Whoa. You cannot hold these warhorses back. This is a tremendous album. I expected a lot and they delivered. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Robert Scott