Nov 202014
 


Photo credit: Dustin Rabin

 

I need to whine for a couple of minutes. Yes, even I, with my usually sunny disposition, need to whine every now and then.

First, I’ve been getting so little sleep lately that my eyes are as red as a baboon’s ass. Second, I inflamed a muscle in my arm from curling massive amounts of weight at the gym, the kind of crushing weight that’s comparable to a grocery bag loaded with a single loaf of bread. Third, and most egregious of all, my fucking day job has been making me run the gauntlet the last two days, with no end in sight, leaving me no time for my usual self-appointed NCS duty of scouring the web for news and new music.

I do know about a bunch of song and album premieres that appeared over the last 24 hours, but only because of messages received from my co-writers and some sharp-eyed readers. I’ve collected streams or links to them in this post, but don’t have time to write about them or even provide album art or helpful links. Shit, I haven’t even listened to all of them. How embarrassing. Continue reading »

Oct 202014
 

According to reports here and here, the 2015 edition of THE DECIBEL TOUR will include At the Gates, Converge, and Vallenfyre, plus one more band yet to be announced. This news was apparently divulged by Richard Christy on Saturday night on stage during the “Decibel Takes Manhattan” show, which featured Amon Amarth, Sabaton, and Vallenfyre.

I haven’t seen any more information than what is reported above, but this is exciting news. I’ll now have my fingers crossed, except for those rare occasions when I need those fingers for something else, that this thing will stop in Seattle.

That is all.

UPDATE: The tour schedule has now been announced. Here it is (I can un-cross my fingers): Continue reading »

Oct 172014
 

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Sweden’s At the Gates.)

Seriously… how am I supposed to even begin to review this album?

After all, the war between the forces of Hype and Anti-Hype began in earnest pretty much the moment At War With Reality was announced, and the back and forth antagonism has since churned the waters into an almost impenetrable mass of muck-raking and mud-slinging, making any attempt at clarity and objectivity a difficult prospect at best.

Think about it. How many people have you seen/heard claiming, with full confidence, that this is going to be “the best album of the year”, with little more than hope or blind faith as their main source of evidence? Probably quite a few. In fact, probably about as many people as you’ve seen stating, with arrogant superiority, that At The Gatesare shit”, and that this album “…is going to suck”, without even hearing a single note of music.

I mean, let’s face it, a lot of people will have made up their minds about At War With Reality long before they heard anything from it. The fanatics are preconditioned to love it even if it’s awful, and the elitists are predisposed to hate it even if it’s phenomenal. So really there’s not much I can say to either of those groups.

But maybe, just maybe, I can reassure some of you out there who don’t fall into either camp, and who might have their own (fully understandable) doubts about the return of At The Gates after all this time. Continue reading »

Oct 172014
 

 

I’d dashing off for my (fucking) day job, so I’ll make this brief:  At the Gates have just debuted a video for the song “Death And The Labyrinth” off their forthcoming album At War With Reality. It was directed by Patric Ullaeus , and here’s what vocalist Tompa Lindberg has to say about it:

“We had a very special idea about the kind of approach we wanted for the first video from ‘At War With Reality’. What we needed was someone gifted enough to throw himself artistically into the project full on. The lyrics to the song are very multi-layered and surreal, so we wanted someone to create a fevered dreamworld that went with the melancholic frustration and dramatic desperation that we feel comes across in the song. This is exactly what Patric has created for us. It’s his vision of the music and lyrics, which compliments the track perfectly in my opinion. I couldn’t be happier!”

Without further ado, watch and listen to “Death and the Labyrinth”. Please leave any reactions you may have in the Comments. Continue reading »

Sep 222014
 

 

The time has finally arrived: At the Gates have just premiered the title track from their forthcoming comeback album At War With Reality — their first new music in 19 years.

There have been considerable differences of opinion within the community of metal about whether this comeback was a good idea, and considerable speculation about what the new music would sound like — would it be in the vein of Slaughter of the Soul or more like the earlier albums? Well, now we have our first clue to the answers to those questions.

It’s hard to know how representative the title track is of the album as a whole, but I’m damned glad to have it. It’s a fast-paced song with racing, jabbing riffs, and it’s also immediately memorable. Tompa Lindberg’s vocals are by definition going to give the music a scarring, bloodthirsty quality, but the guitar solo is the sweepingly melodic centerpiece of the song. And yes, it’s a very melodic song — a very good one, in my book. By sheer coincidence, I was listening to the title track to Terminal Spirit Disease last night (because I really like that song), and this new one could easily link arms with it. Listen next…. Continue reading »

Sep 042014
 

 

I thought our man BadWolf got some interesting insights about the new At the Gates album in his recent interview with Tompa Lindberg, but just now we got a bit of aural insight into At War With Reality: Century Media has posted a teaser on YouTube that contains a (painfully brief) slice of the music.

Of course, it’s not enough of a slice on which to begin opining about the album as a whole — but as slices go, it sounds tasty to me. Listen next: Continue reading »

Sep 022014
 

 

(In this post we present BadWolf’s interview with Tomas Lindberg of Lock Up, Disfear, and of course At the Gates, whose comeback album At War With Reality is headed our way in October)

 

“We still have a sense of urgency.”

That’s what Thomas “Tompa” Lindberg, vocalist of Swedish death metal legends At The Gates told me in between vocal takes as he called No Clean Singing from the studio. Now that At The Gates have finally released the cover art for their upcoming album At War With Reality, their first in 19 years, Lindberg is ready to talk—about finding his screaming voice, his political views, and the magical realist literature that has informed his new work.

 

So, you’re in the studio right now?

Yeah.

 

How’s it going?

Very well. All the drum tracks are totally done, and guitar tone is set and Anders has done the long song. We’re going to do guitars on one song, then I’m going to do vocals, because we do the whole setup so I can alternate so I don’t burn out the voice. You know, we’re going to have the first song written, really, finished today.

 

It’s good that you’re taking care of your voice, because I saw you at MDF and I have no idea how you can do what you do for an entire hour.

Me neither. Sometimes, life is a bit of a struggle, but it’s intense live because then no one can really . . . you can’t rewind and listen to it again. Well, you can on YouTube. In the studio, you need to be perfect 100%, all the time. Continue reading »

Aug 212014
 

 

We have three music premieres coming your way today, but before we begin rolling them out, here are a couple of quick notes that caught my eye this morning.

AT THE GATES

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know by now that Sweden’s At the Gates have recorded a comeback album entitled At War With Reality that’s due for release by Century Media on October 27th in Europe and October 28th in North America. Today the band revealed the cover art for the album (above), which was created by one of our favorite metal artists, Costin Chioreanu (twilight13media.com). As for the relationship between the art and the album, and how Chioreanu came to be involved in the project, we received a press release that included these statements.

From AtG vocalist/lyricist Tomas Lindberg:

“The concept of At War with Reality is based on the literary genre called ‘Magic Realism’. The main style within this genre is the notion that ‘reality’ is ever-changing, and needs to be constantly re-discovered and re-conquered. We felt that Costin’s artwork style would be the perfect visual contribution to this album, so he became the natural choice…” Continue reading »

Aug 142014
 

In mid-June we reported that Sweden’s groundbreaking At the Gates had started recording their comeback album, At War With Reality. Today, our e-mail in-box received a further report from the band’s label, Century Media, and it’s welcome news: The recording, mixing, and mastering of the album is now complete and release dates have been established: October 27th in Europe and October 28th in North America.

The press release also included this statement by ATG vocalist Tomas Lindberg:

“We are very excited to finally have finished this new album. An album that we’ve been working on for over a year now. It’s by far the most challenging record that we have made, but it’s an honest album and I think that you will feel that it is faithful to the legacy of AT THE GATES.

“We have, through the process of creating it, been true to ourselves and our art. From hearing the first demos that Anders presented to the band last summer, through the extensive stages of songwriting, pre-production, rehearsals, recording and mixing, we now finally got the finished album in our hands. Continue reading »

Aug 072014
 

Jet-setter that I am, I’m on the road again this week in my old hometown of Austin, Texas. Until last night I haven’t had as much time as usual to check out new music or write about it. I missed a lot, and am trying to catch up before having to leave the world of metal for the rest of today.

I discovered so many things I want to recommend that I’ve divided them into three parts, this being the first.

DECAPITATED

In advance of their new album Blood Mantra (scheduled for September 26 release by Nuclear Blast), Poland’s Decapitated have begun streaming a new song entitled “The Blasphemous Psalm To The Dummy God Creation”. It’s being released as a digital single via Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, or direct from Nuclear Blast (here). Continue reading »