Released: 2014, Century Media
Reviewer: Addison Herron-Wheeler
Many of us thought that At The Gates were done releasing albums, since it has been over 20 years since they last came out with something. They surprised everyone this year by bringing AT WAR WITH REALITY to life, a new concept album about the nature of darkness, life, and death. This band is great and defined the genre of melodic death metal, but how will it sound after the whole “metalcore” thing besmirched the good name of melodic death metal?
The album does definitely tell a story; from the beginning intro, the songs flow into each other, as is typical with At The Gates. The music is also solid; there is plenty of melody and groove, and the songs are catchy. However, the final product sounds a bit dated. And not dated like a throwback to their original sound. It sounds more like they tried to make it sound like a modern melodic death metal album, but the result is more that it sounds like a metalcore album from the early 2000s. And although ATG have never been known for their breathtaking cover art, this cover seems especially lazy; two computer graphic hands against an occult symbol in the middle of a black background.
Despite this, the album is still listenable and very catchy. However, in light of all the other greatness that At The Gates has achieved, it does not quite live up to my expectations. Buy this to have the complete collection if you’re a fan, but save your money if you’re on a budget, or have a listen first. This might not be what you’re hoping for.