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Listening to At The Gates isn't fun. And it isn't meant to be.

At The Gates is a Swedish death metal band originally formed in 1990. Characteristic of what would become later known as the "New wave of Swedish death metal" (or the Gothenburg style) At The Gates pioneered a hard-hitting, almost hardcore punk-like barrage of tight guitar riffs and strong drumming as one of the firsts in the Scandinavian scene. With their later work they progressed to more technical work, though the onslaught of tight riffs in rapid succession stayed as a defining factor in the music.

At The Gates was formed when vocalist Thomas Lindberg joined with Jonas and Anders Bjorler to create a band that appealed to all of them in the rapidly developing death metal scene of the late 1980's and 1990. Getting together to record a demo, they recruited Adrian Erlandsson to play drums and Alf Svensson on guitar. The recording, "Gardens of Grief" was released as an EP by a small label. This did give At The Gates a chance to tour Sweden extensively, and attracted the attention of Peaceville Records.

"The Red In the Sky Is Ours" (1991) At The Gates' debut LP, was hailed as a success in the field of developing Swedish death metal, and promoted more touring and visibility for the band. At The Gates was being rapidly sweeped into success with a pre-release European tour. Thus expectations for their next release kept growing, with which the band did fulfill promises, satisfying their growing fan base.

"With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness" (1993) saw the replacement of guitarist Alf Svensson with Martin Larsson and a show in Nottingham, UK for MTV's Headbanger's Ball. At The Gates managed to gain a foothold on the British Isles with a short tour with rapidly rising names, Anathema and Cradle of Filth.

Continuing with an extensive touring life and prolific songwriting, At The Gates released their third full-length album, "Terminal Spirit Disease" in 1994. The band did break through with this record, being noted all over Europe. It was with this release that the band headlined a European tour, telling of the success that new-style Swedish death metal could garner.

The next At The Gates record would be for a different record label. Earache Records took up the band in early 1995 and shoved them immediately in the studio to record another album. "Slaughter of the Soul", released that same year, featured a more melodic edge to the barrage that was At The Gates, prompting Kerrang! magazine to write "At The Gates hammer home the point that brutality can be melodic." This addition to the music, along with developed, more technical playing was characteristic of the mid-1990's Gothenburg death metal, but still innovative enough to distinguish At The Gates from the other emerging acts.

The music video for the first track of Slaughter of the Soul, "Blinded by Fear" was immensely popular on MTV's Headbanger's Ball, and was nominated for the prize of Best Video. This, again, told of the success of the band, which however was beginning to show internal disputes due to almost constant touring (Europe, the United Kingdom and the USA) well into 1996.

In late 1996, the Bjorler twin brothers, who wrote the At The Gates songs, decided that the band's situation was stifling. Thus, leaving Slaughter of the Soul as their last record, At The Gates split, and members continued into other projects. Vocalist Thomas Lindberg is currently active in The Crown and Skitsystem, a Swedish brutal hardcore band, where he plays guitar along with singing. The Bjorler brothers Jonas and Anders continued to make music with Adrian Erlandsson as The Haunted.

At The Gates Discography 1990-1995

Gardens of Grief
©1990 Dolores Records

  1. Souls of the Evil Departed
  2. At The Gates
  3. All Life Ends
  4. City of Screaming Statues

The Red In the Sky Is Ours
©1992 Peaceville Records

  1. The Red in the Sky Is Ours / The Season to Come
  2. Kingdom Gone
  3. Through Gardens of Grief
  4. Within
  5. Windows
  6. Claws of Laughter Dead
  7. Neverwhere
  8. The Scar
  9. Night Comes Blood-Black
  10. City of Screaming Statues

With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness
©1993 Peaceville Records

  1. Beyond Good and Evil
  2. Raped by the Light of Christ
  3. Break of Autumn
  4. Non-Divine
  5. Primal Breath
  6. Stardrowned
  7. Blood of the Sunsets
  8. The Burning Darkness
  9. Ever-Opening Flower
  10. Through the Red / Nightmare Cont.

Terminal Spirit Disease
©1994 Peaceville Records

  1. The Swarm
  2. Terminal Spirit Disease
  3. And the World Returned
  4. Forever Blind
  5. The Fevered Circle
  6. The Beautiful Wound
  7. All Life Ends (Live)
  8. The Burning Darkness (Live)
  9. Kingdom Gone (live)

Slaughter of the Soul
©1995 Earache Records

  1. Blinded by Fear
  2. Slaughter of the Soul
  3. Cold
  4. Under a Serpent Sun
  5. Into the Dead Sky
  6. Suicide Nation
  7. World of Lies
  8. Unto Others
  9. Nausea
  10. Need
  11. The Flames of the End
  12. Legion (Bonus Track)
  13. The Dying (Bonus Track)

In addition to these records, At The Gates has appeared in numerous compilations and tribute disks.


SOURCES: Earache Records (http://www.earache.com) and The Official At The Gates Homepage, http://www.atthegates.com)
Yeppers, this was a nodeshell rescue.

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