» Blog Archive At the Gates Deliver Punishing Set At PlayStation Theater -
Evan Conway Hard Music, News, Reviews, Tours

There’s no introduction necessary. At the Gates are a band that have stood the test of time. Still as relevant as they were in the late 80’s and early 90’s, the resurrection of this band has been nothing short of a phoenix rising from the ashes. The band’s latest two albums, At War With Reality and To Drink from the Night Itself, have been critically acclaimed. Is it appropriate for them to opening for Behemoth? With how they carry themselves live, you’d have sworn it was a co-headliner.

Behemoth have just released their newest album, I Loved You At Your Darkest, and it’s following the nuclear bomb that was The Satanist a few years ago. With a loyal and dedicated following in New York, the band selling out PlayStation Theater in Times Square is nothing short of an achievement as it put the band on the biggest show of their headlining career in North America. With At the Gates along for the ride, this also put them on the same stage of the band, and the legacy the band carries no doubt brought people out in droves. Coming out like a bull in a china shop, At the Gates came out to a packed venue that was already in love with them – and then some.

While At the Gates does have a “core” sound that one only needs to listen to Slaughter of the Soul to realize, the band made a conscious effort to spice things up and make their 40 minutes as exciting as possible. Though they’ve a new album out, the set leaned in the favor of At War With Reality dominating their song selection. Though the album is great, I was very excited to see what the band would pick from their newest release, which only ups the extremity of the previous in question. If there were a fault in their set, it was definitely this, yet it can still be overlooked as the songs they picked, were all highlights from said album.

Kicking it off with the title track of their most recent album moving into “Slaughter of the Soul,” and then “At War With Reality” was like they were stabbing every audience member with a shot of adrenaline. The result was an intense crowd that rocked back and forth across the venue floor, sending bodies over the barrier and the band enjoy every minute of it. Frontman Tomas Lindberg, smiling under the shadow cast by his now-signature hat that he is seen wearing, gave as much back to the crowd as they were giving him, and it became a vicious, unrelenting cycle of energy. 46 years old and this guy is in great shape and being one of the strongest vocalists you’ll see in any variation of a death metal band. It was him and bassist Jonas Bjorler who were on the forefront of the stage while the band’s guitarists plugged away at their intense parts.

At the Gates are truly seasoned veterans that rivaled that of Behemoth later in the evening. One could even argue that it could have easily been a co-headliner, and with how demanding and punishing the band was in their execution during their set. And maybe it should have? Who knows, but one this for certain and it was that even though they were in an opening slot, At the Gates weren’t about to let anyone forget that they’re a long-standing act in death metal that hasn’t wavered in the slightest.

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