2014 Scandinavian leg
Grave – special guest
Morbus Chron – support act
Kulturbolaget, Malmo, Sweden
29/11 – 2014
Live review and pictures by: Anders Sandvall
The legendary Swedish death metal act At the Gates released their comeback album AT WAR WITH REALITY in October 2014. The album was eagerly anticipated by the masses of fans that have worshiped the band for decades. The band was put on ice 19 years ago and was brought back to life in 2008. The album has been praised by fans and critics alike. The tour began in Finland, continued to Sweden and on to Europe. The European leg of the tour ended in Berlin, Germany on the 20th of December. In Sweden the band was joined by two other acts in the same genre, the equally known Grave as well as Morbus Chron. The choice of place for the show was the excellent club Kulturbolaget that nearly sold out all of the tickets for this event. It was pretty cold the night of the show. I arrived about 15 minutes before the club was about to open its doors and there was already a long line of people waiting outside. I noticed right from the start that there wasn’t a photo pit which meant it was going to be very hard to get decent pictures. I imagined that it was going to be a warm and sweaty night ahead. I spoke to another photographer and, like me, he was apprehensive as to how the evening would proceed when it came to taking pictures. After 30 minutes it was time for the first band to kick off the metal night and out on the stage came the band.
The singer walked on to the stage right after the intro was played and the band played two songs after which the singer thanked the audience. The line-up is:
Edvin Aftonfalk – lead vocals
Robert Andersson – guitar
Dag Landin – bass
Adam Lindmark – drums
Morbus Chron played a variety of classic Swedish death metal with hints of progressive elements. The guys seemed to be very young but they sure knew how to play. Not much happened on stage and the members moved very little during the show. The members looked quite stiff and the band lacked confidence on how to interact with an audience. Aftonfalk looked a lot like the late Joey Ramone when he was standing on stage which was a little unusual for fronting a band like Morbus Chron. About 20 minutes into the show the fire alarm went of and the band, the audience and everyone else at the club was forced to go out on the street waiting for everything to get cleared out before we was allowed back in again. Luckily it all went pretty fast and after 10 minutes was everyone back inside again. There was no fire and the band ended the song they played before everything was shut down.
Morbus Chron was a good opener for Grave and At The Gates and even though I didn’t appreciated the music I understood that were the perfect opening act. The band needs to work on their stage presence a little more but they were great musicians and their music seemed to appeal to many in the club.
Grave did all the preparations on their own and all of the members could bee seen on stage carrying gears and amps. Two minor back drops with the band name were put on each side of the drums otherwise there wasn’t too much to change besides the guitar and bass and so at about 8.20 it was time for one of my all time favorite acts to enter the stage.
“Morbid Ascent” was the first song for the night and the crowd was with the band from the very start. A circle pit instantly formed and the crazy fans continued to jump around to the following song which was “Deformed”. Singer Lindgren shouted “hello Malmo! , it’s been a long time since we was here, is everyone doing fine?.” “Turning Black” followed and the fans did their best to support Grave and there was no doubt that the band was really popular with the visitors at the club. The line-up consists of:
Ola Lindgren – lead vocals, guitar
Ronnie Bergerståhl – drums
Mika Lagrén -guitar
Tobias Christiansson – bass
While Lindgrén was standing by his mic Christiansson and Lagrén changed places with each other and they joked around with the drummer holding his cymbals and showing each other the finger. The band seemed to really be enjoying their time on stage. “You’ll Never See” and “Hating Life” followed and both the sound and the light worked in favor of the band. The fans that were standing close to the stage were acting mental and jumped around and started circle pits during the show. Arms and hands and legs smashed into each other and it seemed like the club didn’t have enough security positioned near the stage this night. Lindgren was as cool as ever on stage and the rest of the band also did a great job. It was a blast to see Grave live in action. “Dystopia” followed and Lindgren said he thought that we all recognized the next song which was “Amongst the Marble And The Dead”. The audience exploded when they heard the song and the circlepit increased immensely. It’s too bad that the band doesn’t tour more in Sweden however I was really lucky to witness this amazing moment on the spot in Malmo. “Winds Of Chains” and “Christi(ns)anity” continued the show and the song comes from the monumental album YOU’LL NEVER SEE from 1992.
Lindgren thanked the fans and said that the band had one more song left to play and he when he said Into the – the fans answered The Grave and the song “Into The Grave” was the final song for the night for Grave. The song is the title song from the bands debut album from 1990 and of course one of the most popular songs in the bands history. As soon as the band had run through the song the guys left the stage and the roaring crowd.
Grave put on an amazing show and I had wished for them to play a little bit more. The performance was a brilliant in showing how good old fashioned Swedish death metal should be played. The band was a solid force that had a really good time on stage which rubbed off on the enthusiastic crowd. I really hope that Grave is coming back to Malmo soon and I pity the ones who missed the opportunity to see the band live.
You’ll Never See
Amongst Marble And The Dead
Winds Of Chains
Into the Grave
And so was it only one band left and what a band. The venue was pretty packed now and the fans were waiting for At the Gates to show up. On each side of the drums hung small backdrops with the latest album cover on them and the change of gear went pretty fast. You could feel the excitement in the air and everyone in the club was anxious for the band to kick off their show. About 9.30 it was time for the legendary band from Gothenburg who created a new genre with their music to enter the stage in Malmo.
At The Gates
As soon as the fans caught a glimpse of the members they all shouted on the top of their lungs and the band appeared on stage to the tones of the intro “El Altar Del Dios Desconocido” and the first song out for the night was “Death And Labyrinth”. Singer Lindberg had the crowd in the palm of his hand from the very start and the amazing “Slaughter Of The Soul” continued immediately. The classical song made the fans go mental and both the band as well as the fans gave their all in the song. At The Gates is:
Tomas Lindberg – lead vocals
Anders Björler – guitar
Adrian Erlandsson – drums
Jonas Björler – bass
Martin Larsson – guitar
Lindberg moved around on stage during the entire show and he showed no mercy or sign or being tired, he ran on like a raging train with the rest of the band around him. He said it was nice to be in Malmoe and fired off “Cold” taken from the epic album SLAUGHTER OF THE SOUL from 1995. “At War With Reality” followed instantly and the temp remained hard, mean, edgy and raw throughout the show. The audience hardly had time to catch their breath in between the songs as “Terminal Spirit Disease” followed. Lindberg is one of the coolest looking front men of all time and the fans seemed to agree with me. The rest of the band looked also cool and since they all are extremely skilled musicians it was only for the fans to kick back, let loose and have a good time. Lindberg asked how many of the fans in the club had been at the show the band threw in 2008. The audience screamed and Lindberg said that the next song was taken from the first album and the song was “Raped By The Light Of Christ”. Another circlepit was formed and the fans as well as the band were soaked in sweat by this point.
Lindberg thanked everyone for the huge response from the fans and said that everyone in the club probably knew that the band had released a new album. He said that many had asked the band why they recorded a new album now and the reply was that the band had the best fanbase in the world and the fans deserved an album. A new song called “The Circular Ruins” was up next and the fans greeted it with the same enthusiasm as the old classics. Lindberg wanted the fans to scream with him and he looked really happy under his cap. A show can’t get much better than this. I was really impressed by the hunger, fire and vitality the band showed. Not many other melodic death metal bands in the world can beat At The Gates live. These guys are legends for a reason and that was pretty obvious this night. By this point it was time to travel back in time to “Under A Serpent Sun” which made the fans create a circlepit of pure joy. Talk about a dedicated fanbase!
In “City Of Mirrors” the fans sang along with Lindberg and “Suicide Nation” followed instantly. The tempo didn’t slow down a bit during the show. On the contrary; the band showed stamina and persistence and kept the furious tempo right from the very start to the finish line. “Windows”, “Heroes And Tombs” and “Nausea” followed and Lindberg asked if the fans weredoing fine. “World Of Lies” continued the show and the fans began to crowdsurf during the song. A few fans also made their way up on the stage but were rapidly shoved down by security. The audience was in total ecstasy in a way I rarely see crowds at Kulturbolaget. The evening continued with excellent tunes like “The Burning Darkness” which was also the song that ended the 60 minute ordinary part of the show. The crazy crowd wanted to hear more death metal and shouted for encores which the band also came back and gave. The first encore was “Blinded By Fear” and more crowd surfing began amongst the crowd. Lindberg said that the next song was one of the bands favorite songs and that they have played on almost every show they’ve done through the years and it was “Kingdom Gone”. That song marked the end of the show and one by one the band members left the stage. First went Lindberg, then followed one by one by the others with the last one to leave being Anders Björler. They all came back to thank the fans and to take a group picture and when it all was over the band had been performing for about 75 minutes.
The show was simply magical and I have nothing even remotely negative to say about the performance. The set list was brilliant and it was an honor to see the band in action again. The sound was good but the lighting was poor on stage. Some of the members stood in darkness most part of the show. It was not cool to have circlepit and people that crowdsurfed and not have enough of security to make things safe. It was a nightmare to get some good pictures of the band with all the pushing and shoving from the fans beside me. At The Gates showed that they still are a force to be reckoned with in a live setting. I met up a few friends outside and they all agreed that we had witnessed something magical and all of the fans left the club with a smile on their faces.
At The Gates is currently on tour in Europe and continue their tour at the 7th of January in Japan. USA is also going to have a visit from the band which is already confirming festival shows in Europe for the summer. So if you can go and see them!
El Altar Del Dios Desconocido – into
Death And Labyrinth
Slaughter Of The Soul
At War With Reality
Terminal Spirit Disease
Raped By the Light Of Christ
The Circular Ruins
Under A Serpent Sun
City of Mirrors
Heroes And Tombs
World Of Lies
The Burning Darkness
Blinded By Fear
Thanks to the head of Kulturbolaget Totte Lundgren for help with press/photo pass to the show.
Thanks to the security/staff for a nice treatment.