I certainly don’t make it to as many metal shows as I used to, but bring Swedish death metal legends At The Gates to town and you best believe I’ll be head banging all night.
One of the pioneers of the Gothenburg/Melodic Death sound – At The Gates would go on to influence countless metal heads and help spawn the whole metalcore genre here in the United States. Back in high school when I would go to the music store every weekend, it took me awhile to collect their discography (never in stock) – starting with their more raw first albums, transitioning into their pivotal album Terminal Spirit Disease and then finally one day grabbing a copy of Slaughter Of The Soul, easily one of the greatest metal albums in my (and many others) collection. After years of heralding them as one of my favorite metal bands, I finally had a chance to see them perform in Los Angeles last year and left with a gnarly (but worth it!) bangover (a sore neck as a result of head banging). Stoked to say I was ready for round 2.
After rocking out to the great openers, fellow Swedes The Haunted and Poland’s Decapitated, At The Gates stormed the stage opening up with “At War With Reality,” the title track off the latest album (released in 2014 – 19 years after their previous album). They continued their sweet audial assault with machine-gun drums, pummeling bass, driving guitar rhythms, scorching leads, haunting melodies, and the strangled shriek of Tomas’ vocals throughout their set of material from their last two albums. The songs ranged from older fan and personal favorites like “Suicide Nation,” “Cold,” “Nausea” and “Blinded by Fear” to newer songs such as “Death and The Labyrinth” and “The Book of Sand (The Abomination).” The audience responded in kind by shouting along to the emotive choruses, moshing in the huge circle pit and saluting the band with an ocean of metal horns \m/. I’m really glad that At The Gates has not only reunited in the last few years to tour and perform (for those of us to see who were too young or didn’t catch them before) but to also write and record material that is a distinct continuation and progression of their music. Here’s hoping to hear more material and a chance to rock out again with these Swedes!
At The Gates can be heard on Mood’s heavy metal Core program, Spike.
– Submitted by Jesse Nathason, Music Design