Like I already wrote in my review of the new Sanctuary album it is always a risk
to record a new album after a reunion. Fans want an album that is at least as
good as the band's best albums. It has taken 19 years and now the big
moment is there. After the reunion the band waited 4 years to release a new
album and is it what we all hope for?
With a new album it is like it is with a soccer team or an athlete; you are only as good
as your last performance. The best album of the band is of course 'Slaughter of
the Soul' and with the same line-up and producer (Frederik Nordström) the band
has recorded this new album. If I compare this one with the latest other reunion
albums of bands like Carcass and Sanctuary, I have to admit that this one is the
least surprising of the three. The album is packed with well written songs
in the melodic death metal style we know from the band and there isn't any weak
song or disappointing moments. The vocals of Tomas Lindberg are as raspy and
aggressive as always and the guitar riffs and soli have a lot in common with
their 'Slaughter' album. However, after one spin I wasn't really surprised or
overwhelmed by the album, a safe effort with no surprises was my first
impression. Listening a few times more I got more enthusiastic about the songs
and came to the conclusion that there are several songs with very strong riffs
and that every At the Gates fan can buy this album with his hands tied.
Not that it will top their 'Slaughter' album, but this album certainly will come
in second place.