Monday, December 15, 2014

Death Metal World Cup Semi Finals: Origin vs At The Gates

At The Gates
At War with Reality

Strange as it sounds, I was looking forward to the new album by Origin - a band I’ve long had a soft spot for, but who only started to impress me on their last few albums - more than the new album by At the Gates - who I discovered in high school, and whose albums were world-shaping experiences during my formative hesher years. With expectations riding so high and the most influential album of the last two decades to follow, I suppose it was inevitable that Reality would disappoint. Early teasers hinted that the band was in full-on recycle mode, and once the full album was released, my fears were confirmed. At The Gates turned in a safe, self-fellating album, and their newer fans may love them for it (as, one can only assume, does their record company) but I do not.

Origin, meanwhile, has shown their willingness to tamper with their tried and true formula (though admittedly in measured doses). Omnipresent is rewarding for all the chances Origin takes, from the goofy grind anthem “Redistribution of Filth” to the blackened epic “The Indiscriminate”. It’s when the band follows too closely in their own footsteps that the album is least engaging. Luckily, those moments don’t last long (which, it has to be said, is true of the album in general).

THE MATCH UP: No contest. Omnipresent is an outstanding example of what it means to be death metal in 2014; whereas At War with Reality is the sound of a legendary band on auto-pilot. If it’s a choice between hearing a band follow their hearts or follow a paycheque, I’ll always choose the former.

WINNER: Origin

NEXT SEMI FINAL MATCH: Vader vs Behemoth