ALBUM REVIEW: ‘At War With Reality’ by At The Gates.
by Matthew Green
Like some gargantuan, mythological beast of melancholy, destined to roam the earth, wailing with grief and convulsing with despair. It destroys habitats and men with nary a thought to it’s own powers of destruction, deaf to the screams of those being obliterated, without the knowledge or awareness of it’s own capabilities. At The Gates have an awe-inspiring ability to create music with a weight and a majesty which will crush without pity or care, and this album carries on that onerous tradition.
There is none of the piss and vinegar of young tearaways here, this is the work of hardened veterans deploying all their knowledge of what heavy music is meant to do: make your headbang, but twisted with downbeat melodies and a certain glacial inhuman quality.
Take the track ‘Heroes and Tombs’, it starts with a clean-picked ‘mysterious’ melody, under which distorted single notes and chords are added, until the simple but oh-so-effective main verse riff comes rolling around. Once the drums kick in, I defy you gentle reader, not to be grinning and nodding vigorously along in delighted anticipation of furiously headbanging to it in the live arena before the sweeping and layered chorus leads into a short but breathtaking solo until we end on a downbeat, furrowed brow of an outro.
With most songs around the 3/4 minute mark, there is little self-indulgent wank here, but like the aforementioned song, many moods and attitudes are visited within each track. Fortunately, never once do the band or their producer, Fredrik Nordström, forget that. Like all the very best metal, we are here to headbang and revel in the ecstacy of the riff, and so we welcome a more than worthy successor to the rightly revered ‘Slaughter of the Soul’.
At War with Reality is out now on Century Media, pick it up on roughly a million different formats here.
At The Gates official website.
At The Gates play with Triptykon and Morbus Chron on the following dates
04.12.2014 – London (UK) – Forum
05.12.2014 – Manchester (UK) – Academy 2
06.12.2014 – Glasgow (UK) – Garage
07.12.2014 – Birmingham (UK) – The Oobleck
08.12.2014 – Cardiff (UK) – The Globe
Get your tickets here.