At The Gates, Endsight, Cerebrum // Fuzz Club, Athens, Greece // 09.01.2015
You often feel lucky, as a metal fan or music fan in general, when you witness two kinds of bands/artists: either young ones in their prime full of passion, life and dreams tearing stages apart or old school ones showing that not only do they have it in them, but could also give their younger counterparts a run for their money! At The Gates, the melodic death metal forefathers from Gothenburg, Sweden fall into the second category: 19 years after their seminal album “Slaughter Of The Soul” (1995) and 7 after their first reunion in 2008, they come back with a mindblowing new record “At War With Reality”, a worthy successor of their classic back-catalogue. They are the reason we head down to Fuzz Club that cold Friday night.
One of the bands’ supporting acts is the Greek Endsight. When I saw these guys supporting Unearth in September, they crushed the stage with their sheer energy and great songwriting. Their style is directly influenced by the headliners, to the point I thought that the Bjorler brothers might be feeling really proud for what their legacy has given to metal bands. They played songs mainly off their “A Vicious Circle” album which came out a year ago, which really warmed up the crowd, showing how metalcore should really be played. Also a very energetic frontman who managed to get a half-filled Fuzz Club up on its feet.
After Endsights’ headbanging performance, a slight contrast with Cerebrum, a really unique case in the Greek Death metal scene. If I were to describe what they sound like, I’d say they mix the technical era of Death (“Human” and on) and Pestilence, early At The Gates influence with blastbeats/riffage influenced by Nile. Highly technical, extremely well-rehearsed, and in a way cerebral Death metal (the name was perfectly fitting for their music). One should point out the fact that they celebrated 10 years in existence, which is something not many bands reach while being constantly active. Some of them disband, some of them stop for a while etc. I know they definitely earned my support as well as the support from more people in the venue who loudly applauded them when they finished their set. Be sure to check them out, they will blow your mind!
Then, after the Greek metal scene showdown, the curtain fell. Anxiously awaiting for the coming back of those legends after all these years in existence and how they would be on stage. Our memories from Rockwave festival 2013 in the summer afternoon were the absolute best, but bands like these deserve a full set and a packed venue. 600 people were there to attend, which is not jam packed, but it’s really solid and allowing the crowd to mosh easily!
“El Altar del Dios Desconocido” (the intro off “At War With Reality”) and then the massacre began with “Death And The Labyrith”, “Slaughter Of The Soul”, “Cold” and “At War With Reality” played back to back! Fuzz Club was set on fire, mosh pits, chants, sweat, crowd-surfing (even some women, we need to see more of these ladies in extreme metal and metal in general), screams and violent headbanging, set a scenery every metal band loves to produce!
In the next hour and a half we heard songs off “At War With Reality” (“The Circular Ruins”, “The Book Of Sands (The Abomination)”, “The Night Eternal”, “Heroes And Tombs”), “Slaughter Of The Soul” (title track, “Cold”, “Nausea”, “Under A Serpent Sun”, “World Of Lies” (my neck cracked), “Blinded By Fear”), “Terminal Spirit Disease” (the thrilling title track) “The Red In The Sky Is Ours” (“Kingdom Gone”, “Windows”) and “With Fear I Kiss The Burning Darkness” (“Raped By The Light Of Christ” and the title track).
The band talked via Tomas Lindberg about the “last At The Gates show ever” in 2008 and how it was an honest decision to carry on and end up making the record and the related tour. Also the chants “AT THE GATES! AT THE GATES!” never stopped until the last notes of “The Night Eternal” which ended a set made of every fans’ wet dreams.
Mindblowing performance, insane crowd response, one the best live shows to start the new year 2015. That’s all that was left when the lights went on and everyone had a huge smile on their faces, witnessing the old school of 90s Melodic Death metal still kickin’ ass with ease!! Wish all the contributors of the night well, and thank you At The Gates for being around playing music! HORNS UP!
Check S&D Photography for more photos.