Metal legends At The Gates made a stop in Spartanburg on an off day during their tour with Behemoth on Sunday. This was one of my most anticipated shows in a long time. I’ve listened to At The Gates for years and during most of that time they were long broken up. They reformed a few years back and put out an excellent album At War With Reality. They added another new one this year called To Drink From The Night Itself. When I was in Iceland my rental car would randomly start playing that album from my ipod every so often. Eventually I took the car’s request and listened to it, who can argue with an inanimate object that loves At The Gates?
After an opening set from Wolves in the Throne Room the Swedish masters took the stage to a half full room. I was a bit disappointed in the turnout. Seems like a band I consider to be one of the most important metal bands of all time would gather a larger crowd. Nonetheless the band didn’t miss a beat and played an enthusiastic set centered around the two new albums and, of course, their seminal album Slaughter of the Soul. They dipped back into their earlier death metal days a few times as well. Singer Tomas Lindburg had a corny joke before they did. “Who likes death metal, well we in At The Gates don’t like death metal . . . we fucking love death metal.”
The band sounded great, and the people who did turn up in Spartanburg where lucky enough to get to see a huge metal band play in a very small venue for them.