(We present TheMadIsraeli‘s review of the seventh studio album by At the Gates, released earlier this month by Century Media.)
Watching how your favorite musical artists deal with the inevitability of getting older, slower, and weaker is one of the more fascinating aspects of this media consumption thing we all do. That’s especially true of metal, which is a genre that’s often predicated on physical ability. It’s all technicality and endurance, coupled with demands on the performers to be emotionally resonant, to still maintain that human element that makes music touch our souls and make life just that little bit better.
It’s commonplace for a lot of long-running bands to slow down, dial back the technical aspects of their music a bit and try to compensate for their age in other ways. Sometime they try to make their songwriting better, and to try less mechanically demanding ideas. Sure, here and there they can still write a barnburner that’s on a crash course with a brick wall at two hundred miles per hour, but it’s tough to play a whole album of that anymore.