Sunday, October 19, 2014
At the Gates: "At War With Reality"
At the Gates are back doing what they do best. It opens with the twin guitar attack chugging out what at one time might have passed for death metal, but by today's standards just aggressive thrash. There are elements of hardcore around it's sharp edges, they can still grind out some riffs that are impossible to not head band to, and the longer this album plays the more you hear how they have influenced so many bands.
It's the hunt for the angriest riffs that draws me into some of these songs. Sure there is some excellent guitar work, which is the albums strong point, but that could be said about their earlier work as well.By the third song, the battering is starting to carry to similar a feel. The riffs stay pretty epic , but the pacing is like an action movie with no plot or dialogue. Some of the more melodic guitar harmonies on this album seems like they are indulgent in a way that "Slaughter of the Soul" still held sharper teeth while doing.
The intro to "Heroes and Tombs" breaks things up , but it also reminds me of In Flames until the powerful chug comes in.It's at "Conspiracy of the Blind' where it starts to bleed together for me."Order From Chaos" is a slightly darker bent from the more straight forward thrashers. Things stick to a similar course with "The Book of Sand", but it's almost midway into before I realize it's a new song. "The Head of Hydra" takes a more melodic tone and stands out more so for doing it.
It's "Eater of Gods" that causes the album to roar back to life in the most powerful manner. The In Flames like spoken part in the middle doesn't even bother me or come across as mall metal. "Upon Pillars of Dust" tries to keep up a similar attitude, but lands on that straight forward snare tap that is kinda punkish.It has more of a metal core like feel to it, and by that I don't mean the kids with the hair cuts , but the trend they pretty much started and bands like Darkest Hour followed.They end things with the very melodic "
Needless to say this album doesn't have the impact that "Slaughter of the Soul" has It certainly has it's moments, but nothing really blows me away here. There is enough of their tradmark sound here to please fans , but as far as come backs go this is kind of tepid considering how long of a wait it has been, if I was a die hard fan of these guys I would take this a little bit of a disappointment and I know these guys are capable of more so I will give this a 7.5.