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At The Gates Discusses New Album "At War With Reality"

As previously announced, seminal Swedish metallers At The Gates are proud to announce their return to the studio to record the long-awaited follow-up to 1995's "Slaughter Of The Soul."

Due to be released worldwide via Century Media Records in late 2014, this new album, "At War With Reality," features the band's classic lineup from the "Slaughter Of The Soul" era.

Decibel Magazine has now conducted an interview about the album with At The Gates' Tomas Lindberg (vocals). Read the full interview at this location, and excerpts follow.

Decibel: Most people might be expecting the new material to be in the vein of Slaughter of the Soul, but are there any plans to showcase the more angular and progressive influences of the first ATG EP, Gardens of Grief, and first two studio albums as well?

As I said we have gone beyond the idea of making “Slaughter of the Soul Pt. 2,” which was actually never the idea to start with. This is an album that is so full on conceptually and creatively, so involved and ambitious that I am almost compelled to call it pretentious. And that brings me back to the feeling that was with us when we were creating With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness. I’m not saying that this album sounds like that album, but it has that burning urge, the sense of importance that album is trying to portray. As I have always stated, we are an honest band, a band that is very focused on being true to ourselves and never follow any trends or try to portray a given perception of what people want us to be. What we decided on was really to let the music take us where it had to go, to go “all in” so to say. To answer your question, the record will be filled with a lot of the Slayer worship and riffage that is Slaughter of the Soul, but people will also recognize the more dark, melodic side that was With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, and maybe some of the more pretentious arrangements that was part of our early career.

Decibel: The bar for “death metal comebacks” is now Surgical Steel. Is At the Gates prepared to meet that? Not to mention the legacy of Slaughter of the Soul?

We set our own bar—and it’s higher than Slaughter of the Soul and Surgical Steel combined. I know that a lot of people have expectations of what a new At the Gates album would be like, good or bad. But it’s our own expectations that will have to be met at the end of the day, and they are higher than anyone’s out there, I can reassure you that. The pressure is on, but the pressure comes from ourselves more than anyone else. At the Gates have never been a band that compares itself to other bands and therefore we are prepared to present a new album with material and integrity all on its own, strong enough to meet the expectations of our fans and metal fans in general, that´s what I would say. Personally, it has been a challenge, but I think it´s important to face these kind of challenges head-on. And you have to remember that none of the previous At the Gates records was greeted with any big praise when they were released, and that fact comes from that we wrote them for ourselves, just as we have written At War With Reality for ourselves. Speaking of Carcass though, Jeff [Walker] has been picking my brain about this for a long time, and we ARE on a similar journey, the two bands. And seeing them not die doing this maybe helped ease the angst a little, haha! And it’s a good album, Surgical Steel, it really is—and seeing the band live in 2013 with new songs in the set list was invigorating, but remember they had to follow up Swansong, and not Heartwork…

You can also catch the band live:

06.03.2014--Stockholm (Sweden)--Close-Up Båten
08.03.2014--Trondheim (Norway)--Trondheim Metal Fest
26.04.2014--Santiago (Chile)--The Metal Fest
23.05.2014--Baltimore (US)--Maryland Death Fest
10.07.2014--Neskaupstadur (Iceland)--Eistnaflug Festival

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