Saturday, December 6, 2014

Death Metal World Cup: Massacre vs At the Gates

Back from Beyond
At The Gates
At War with Reality

2014 saw a seminal band from death metal’s glory years make their long-awaited return; it’s also the year that Massacre put out a new album. [Zing!] Back from Beyond, their first album since 1996’s sketchy Promise, sees the band stepping outside their cozy Florida death metal template to indulge in some shameless Grave-robbing. Their meat and potatoes approach - what Martin Popoff aptly termed “drinking man’s death metal” - doesn’t break any new ground but gets some appreciative nodding from this jaded hesher.

I’ve spent so much energy debating the merits of the new At the Gates album that frankly, just thinking about it exhausts me. Leaving aside whether or not it was worth the wait or the hype, At War with Reality makes no bones about “borrowing” from previous ATG albums. It’s may not be as good as Slaughter of the Soul, but it could be the album that reminds everyone why we were all so excited about a little town called Gothenberg so many years ago.

THE MATCH UP: Love them or hate them, At the Gates were a band that completely transformed the genre. Even when they were relevant, Massacre did little more than ape their better peers, and have never gotten past that; whereas the only band At the Gates can be accused of ripping off on AWWR is themselves.

WINNER: At The Gates

NEXT MATCH: Sinister vs Misery Index