At War with Reality

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At War with Reality
Studio album by At the Gates
Released October 28, 2014 (2014-10-28)
Recorded June 24, 2014 – July 18, 2014
Genre Melodic death metal
Length 44:16
Label Century Media Records
Producer Fredrik Nordström
At the Gates chronology
Slaughter of the Soul
(1995)Slaughter of the Soul1995
At War with Reality
Singles from At War with Reality
  1. "We Are Connected / Language of the Dead"
    Released: March 31, 2015

At War with Reality is the fifth studio album by Swedish melodic death metal band At the Gates, released on 28 October 2014.[1][2] It is the band's first album since Slaughter of the Soul (1995), marking the longest gap between two studio albums in their career, though the reason for this length of time was the band's previous break up and for many years despite their eventual reunion, they initially had no plans to record another album. It was also their first release on Century Media Records.[2] It is a concept album based on the literary genre of magic realism.[3] At War with Reality received positive reviews from music critics, and music videos were released for "Death and the Labyrinth", "Heroes and Tombs", The Book of Sand (The Abomination)" and "The Night Eternal". The album is the band's last studio album to feature co-founding guitarist Anders Björler, who had departed from the band in March 2017.[4]


After breaking up in 1996, At the Gates announced on October 18, 2007 that they would reunite for several reunion shows in the summer of 2008.[5] Throughout July 2008, they toured the US and Canada on what was dubbed the "Suicidal Final Tour", and the last date of the tour took place in Athens, Greece, with guest The Ocean on September 21, 2008. Despite playing a handful of successful reunion shows, members of At the Gates stated that they would not record a new album,[6] suggesting that it would be "pointless to release something more than ten years after Slaughter of the Soul."[7]

After a two-year hiatus, At the Gates announced their second reunion in December 2010, and that they would do a "limited run of select shows" in 2011. They also announced that they would "stick to the initial promise of not making any more music."[8] Asked in October 2012 about the possibility of new At the Gates material, frontman Tomas Lindberg replied, "Well, basically, I've learned never to say never. We said we'd never do any more shows whatsoever and now we're doing shows [again]. 2008 was the last tour we were going to do and now we are doing more [shows]. I learned not to say never you know."[9]

On January 21, 2014, At the Gates released a distorted video on YouTube showing lines of lyrics on it, followed by text saying "2014", possibly hinting toward possible lyrics for an upcoming album. Six days later, the band revealed on Facebook via a new cover photo and profile picture, that they had signed to Century Media Records, and would begin recording their fifth album At War with Reality in June/July for a tentative October/November 2014 release.[2]

On August 14, the band announced they had completed the album, and that it would be released on October 28.[1]

In a November 2014 interview, Lindberg was asked whether At War with Reality is At the Gates' final album or the band will continue recording. His response was, "We can't say really. We have no plans of stopping but we've broken promises before so it's best not to say anything."[10] The band have since shown interest in releasing a follow up album. They later confirmed this would not be the final album and that there will be a brand new follow-up album in 2018.

They concluded the 'At War With Reality' world tour in August 2016, which had run for almost 2 years following its release.

The quote on track 1 "El altar del dios desconocido" are taken from the novel On Heroes and Tombs written by Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Alternative Press 3.5/5 stars[11]
Blabbermouth 8.5/10 stars[12]
Exclaim! 10/10 stars[13]
MetalSucks 5/5 stars[14]
Pitchfork Media 6.9/10[15] 4/5 stars[16]
Rock Sound 8/10[17]
Sputnikmusic 2.5/5[18]
Wondering Sound 4/5 stars[19]

Upon release, At War with Reality received universal acclaim. Ray Van Horn, Jr. of rated the album eight-and-a-half stars out of ten, and called it "probably the most anticipated metal album" of 2014. He finished his review by saying that "At the Gates make mincemeat out of this album and efficiently plot most of their songs to wrap in far less time than their acolytes. The average song on At War with Reality clocks in between two-and-a-half and four minutes, yet all feel like far more has transcended. That's something special. Inadvertently and unfairly credited for the ascension of metalcore, At the Gates releases a demonstrative comeback album that's simply metal, forget the 'core-rellations."[12]

At War with Reality was At the Gates' first album to chart in multiple countries. The album peaked at number three on the Swedish chart Sverigetopplistan,[20] and reached number 53 on the Billboard 200.[21]

Track listing[edit]

All lyrics written by Tomas Lindberg except where noted; all music composed by Anders Björler and Jonas Björler[22].

No. Title Lyrics Music Length
1. "El Altar del Dios Desconocido" ("The Altar of the Unknown God") Ernesto Sabato A.Björler 1:06
2. "Death and the Labyrinth"   A.Björler 2:33
3. "At War with Reality"   A.Björler 3:09
4. "The Circular Ruins"   A.Björler / J.Björler 4:28
5. "Heroes and Tombs"   A.Björler / J.Björler 3:59
6. "The Conspiracy of the Blind"   J.Björler / A.Björler 3:19
7. "Order from Chaos"   A.Björler / J.Björler 3:26
8. "The Book of Sand (The Abomination)"   A.Björler 4:28
9. "The Head of the Hydra"   J.Björler / A.Björler 3:38
10. "City of Mirrors" (instrumental)   J.Björler / A.Björler 2:06
11. "Eater of Gods"   A.Björler 3:51
12. "Upon Pillars of Dust"   A.Björler 2:39
13. "The Night Eternal"   J.Björler / A.Björler 5:37
Total length: 44:16


Credits are adapted from the album's liner notes. [22]


Chart (2014-2015) Peak
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[23] 39
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[24] 78
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[25] 162
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[26] 15
French Albums (SNEP)[27] 175
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[28] 25
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[20] 3
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[29] 51
US Billboard 200[21] 53
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[30] 10
US Top Hard Rock Albums (Billboard)[31] 4
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[32] 9
US Top Tastemaker Albums (Billboard)[33] 11


  1. ^ a b "AT THE GATES Completes Work On 'At War With Reality'; Release Date Announced". 2014-08-14. Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b c "At The Gates Announces New Studio Album, Label Home". 2014-01-27. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "AT THE GATES Statement - March 8, 2017". Facebook. 8 March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017. 
  5. ^ "It's Official: At The Gates To Reunite For Select Shows". 2007-10-18. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  6. ^ "At The Gates Frontman Discusses Reunion, Touring Plans". 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  7. ^ "At The Gates Oct/Nov Australian Tour". Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  8. ^ "At The Gates Confirmed For Sweden's Meltdown Festival". 2010-12-06. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  9. ^ "At The Gates Frontman On Possibility Of New Studio Album: 'I've Learned Never To Say Never'". 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2014-01-27. 
  10. ^ "Interview With At The Gates Vocalist Tomas Lindberg". 2014-11-18. Retrieved 2014-11-23. 
  11. ^ Pratt, Greg (7 November 2014). "At The Gates – At War With Reality". Alternative Press. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  12. ^ a b "CD Reviews: At War with Reality". Retrieved October 30, 2014. 
  13. ^ "'At War With Reality' Review". Retrieved October 24, 2014. 
  14. ^ Rosenberg, Axl. "At the Gates' At War with Reality is Mercilessly Addictive". Retrieved October 12, 2014. 
  15. ^ Heller, Jason (3 December 2014). "At the Gates: At War With Reality". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  16. ^ thepopeofchili-town (18 November 2014). "At The Gates – At War with Reality". Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  17. ^ Sayce, Rob (20 October 2014). "At The Gates – At War With Reality". Rock Sound. Freeway Press Inc. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  18. ^ Thomas, Adam (28 October 2014). "Reiew: At the Gates – At War with Reality". Sputnikmusic. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  19. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (28 October 2014). "At the Gates, At War With Reality". Wondering Sound. eMusic. Retrieved 4 January 2015. 
  20. ^ a b " – At The Gates – At War With Reality". Hung Medien.
  21. ^ a b "At The Gates Chart History (Billboard 200)". Billboard.
  22. ^ a b At War with Reality liner notes (9984389). Century Media Records. 2014. 
  23. ^ " – At The Gates – At War With Reality" (in German). Hung Medien.
  24. ^ " – At The Gates – At War With Reality" (in Dutch). Hung Medien.
  25. ^ " – At The Gates – At War With Reality" (in French). Hung Medien.
  26. ^ "At The Gates: At War With Reality" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  27. ^ " – At The Gates – At War With Reality". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ "Longplay-Chartverfolgung at Musicline" (in German). Phononet GmbH.
  29. ^ " – At The Gates – At War With Reality". Hung Medien.
  30. ^ "At The Gates Chart History (Independent Albums)". Billboard.
  31. ^ "At The Gates Chart History (Top Hard Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  32. ^ "At The Gates Chart History (Top Rock Albums)". Billboard.
  33. ^ "At The Gates Chart History (Top Tastemaker Albums)". Billboard.