At The Gates

Vega, Copenhagen - 2022

Text: Tobias Nilsson Photo: Lunah Lauridsen

At The Gates was the second to last band on this evening of four deadly Swedish bands, with In Flames headlining.
Of Gothenburg’s big three, At The Gates have always held the third position for me, as In Flames was my entry drug, and Dark Tranquillity is what I resonate best with nowadays, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t interested in what they’d bring to the table this evening.

After a musical intro which led directly into the first song, Spectre Of Extinction, opener and only song taken from their 2021 album The Nightmare Of Being, the band quickly took the stage, and already here we could feel that mercy was not an option. The brutality laid down outdid anything else we’d seen and heard so far.
The Copenhagen crowd loved it, and immediately countered by screaming back at the band, and throwing their horns in the air. There was a great deal of energy pumping back and forth over the edge of the stage, as it should be.

I was impressed by the presence and performance delivered by Tomas Lindberg. He seemed genuinely happy to be here, had his energy up all through the set, and often directed his microphone to the crowd; not that we could hear ourselves better because of it, but then again, it was an unusually wide security pit.
If Lindberg was the consummate frontman, I’m afraid my praise can’t extend to the rest of the band. Adrian Erlandsson is usually good to see, but standing where I was, I simply couldn’t see him because of equipment blocking my view. The string punishing trio however, they seemed to struggle to get through. There was a bit of headbanging once in a while, but it seemed very unenthusiastic. Mostly, they looked tired, warm, and uncomfortable.
Good thing for them then, that At The Gates had several short intermissions in their set, where taped clips were used to stretch the break between songs.

The crowd was on the band’s side though, and had a great old time. For my part, I was reminded why this band hasn’t reached higher for me - they’re simply too monotonous in their sound, and not in a good way.
Lindberg’s performance lifted the experience, and it was a nice touch, when all the band threw merch shirts out to the crowd at the end of the show, but it was still nothing exceptional.


Spectre Of Extinction
Slaughter Of The Soul
At War With Reality
To Drink From The Night Itself
Under A Serpent Sun
Heroes And Tombs
Death And The Labyrinth
Blinded By Fear
The Night Eternal

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