Union Transfer


At The Gates

The Decibel Magazine Tour

At The Gates

Converge, Pallbearer, Vallenfyre, Krieg

Sat, April 11, 2015

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 7:00 pm

Union Transfer

Philadelphia, PA

$27.50 - $32.00

Sold Out

This event is all ages

At The Gates
At The Gates
“The greatest Swedish Death Metal band ever reclaims their rightful throne.” – Decibel Magazine

AT THE GATES are one of the most important bands in the history of death metal. But, with that sort of reputation comes expectation and pressure. Especially when you are dealing with the band's first new studio album since 1995.

“What we wanted to do was to be old school, but to ensure everything was also up to date,” says vocalist Tomas Lindberg. “Because we didn't want to be rooted in the past.”

The Gothenburg band have been careful not to raise fans' hopes for a new album since they reformed in 2007, 11 years after splitting up. When they did return, it was with the full classic line-up, namely, Lindberg, guitarists Anders Björler and Martin Larsson, bassist Jonas Björler and drummer Adrian Erlandsson. But, for a long time, the five-piece were careful to distance themselves from any thoughts of new recordings.

“We decided about a year ago that we would do a new album,” reveals Lindberg. “But we never went public with this for a while, because we didn't want to put any demands on ourselves.”

But slowly, the band assembled the material for new album 'At War With Reality'. The actual writing process was fairly straightforward, but what took time was getting the song structures and arrangements exactly as they wanted them to sound. At no stage did the band rush the process, but through the exchange of ideas by email and person, it all took shape.

All of the riffs and melodies here came from the Björler brothers, with Anders being responsible for 70 percent. And lyrically, there's a concept at work, which again differentiates the material here from the four previous records.

“It's not that I've come up with a storyline that runs throughout. But there's definitely a theme. And this is Magic Realism.”

Magic Realism is a sub-genre of surrealism, where magic being cast as part of everyday life. It's been best defined as 'what happens when reality is invaded by something too strange to believe'. “I've been reading a lot of 1950s/60s South American authors in this genre, and felt this idea could be adapted to fit into the world of death metal. So that's where my lyrical inspirations come from. And, throughout the songs there are hints acknowledging some of the writers I have read. Yes, the lyrics are ambitious, but they are also a return to the early days of the band when the words had a philosophical edge and depth.”

The challenge of making this all work in the studio was given to producer Fredrik Nordström, who worked with AT THE GATES on their 1994 album 'Terminal Spirit Disease' and the celebrated 'Slaughter Of The Soul' the next year.

“Fredrik works at his own studio in our home town (Studio Fredman in Gothenburg), so it was easy for us. We went there from 8am to 8pm every day for four weeks. Fredrik and his engineer Henrik Udd are also so easy to be around. We can be relaxed around these two, and just be ourselves, which was very important.”

The man who mixed the album was Jens Bogren, one of the top names in the metal field at the moment. Bogren got the job after doing a test mix of a demo from the band. They were so impressed that he was given the entire album to do.

“We wanted the style to come across as if it were the five of us playing together in a room, but also very precise. Jens has done an amazing job.”

Just how much time and thought has gone into this album is also heightened by the involvement of artist Costin Chioreanu, who worked on the cover for Anders Björler's 2013 solo album 'Antikythera'. What Chioreanu has done is to create a different illustration for every song.

“He requested all of the lyrics, and then used these as inspiration for every piece of art he's done for this. He's put a lot of thought and effort into what has been created.”

The colours used in these impressive illustrations reflect the overall atmosphere in the music, being bleak, yet never depressing. It also accentuates the band's old school attitude, in that it has a vinyl aptitude, harking back to the days when fans would spend literally hours poring over an album sleeve analysing every detail, because this was seen as being a crucial part of the overall effect.

Lindberg believes that the album should be judged on its own merits and not compared to what the band have done before. In fact, AT THE GATES have always made a point of moving forward with each succeeding release. They are not a band who are content to repeat whatever's been successful before.

“That's why each of our records sounds different to the rest. I'd say that 'At War With Reality' is aggressive, which is what you might expect. Yet it's also darker than we've been.”

Above all else, this is an album capturing the honesty and integrity that has always defined AT THE GATES, making them one of the most significant extreme metal names of the past 25 years. Since their original formation in 1990, this is a band who've never been less than true to themselves. They haven't tried to second guess trends or fan behaviour, but always recorded what they know to be music that comes from within.

“Our first priority was to ensure we were happy with this album. And we are very satisfied with the way it sounds. Now, it's time for everyone else to make up their minds. I feel confident, though, we have done something our fans will enjoy.”

True devotees of AT THE GATES have always been excited by the band's willingness to be diverse. 'At War With Reality' is a prime example.
Five years since their last release, Converge return with The Dusk In Us: a brutal but beautiful album that shows the band’s artistic evolution while still capturing their classic sound. The ninth full-length from the Boston-based heavy-music innovators—vocalist Jacob Bannon, guitarist Kurt Ballou, bassist Nate Newton, and drummer Ben Koller—The Dusk In Us proves to be both dark and hopeful, abrasive and melodic, devastating and powerfully cathartic.

In recording The Dusk In Us, Converge once again worked in Ballou’s renowned Godcity Studios in Salem, Massachusetts. Produced by the band and mixed by Ballou, the album matches its raw energy with a subculture-crossing inventiveness that’s earned Converge longtime reverence within the punk, metal, and hardcore scenes. One of Converge’s most dynamic and avant-garde albums to date, The Dusk In Us unfolds with an uncompromising honesty born from “writing about experiences in my life and working through the complexities of those things through song,” as Bannon explains.

On the album-opening “A Single Tear,” pummeling drums and caustic riffs form the backdrop to strikingly vulnerable lyrics like “When I held you for the first time/I knew I had to survive.” (“‘A Single Tear’ is about becoming a parent, and the perspective and strength it can give,” Bannon notes.) With its abrasive guitar work and menacing undertones, “Under Duress” brings a tortured howl to lyrics channeling what Bannon describes as “my emotional reaction to the complex world in which we live.” A frenzied blast of pure fury, “I Can Tell You About Pain” offers what NPR recently hailed as “hardcore-fueled extreme music that simultaneously elevates and destroys.” And on the seven-minute-plus title track to The Dusk in Us, Converge deliver a slow-building, quietly haunting epic of ethereal beauty.

Converge formed in Massachusetts in 1990, then made their debut with 1994’s Halo in a Haystack. Soon regarded as pioneers within the aggressive music arena, the band had a major breakthrough with their landmark album Jane Doe—a 2001 release praised as “iconic” by the A.V. Club (who also noted that Jane Doe “reaches canonical status with every re-listen”). The Dusk In Us arrives as the follow-up to 2012’s All We Love We Leave Behind, an album that Consequence Of Sound called “as skull-cleaving as it is beautiful” and that made its way onto Pitchfork’s Best New Music list.

While The Dusk In Us finds Converge defying boundaries and pushing into new sonic terrain, it’s also a natural progression for a band that’s long thrived on making music that both challenges and connects. “Our only goal is to create something that moves us and resonates with us emotionally,” says Bannon. “For us, it’s simply a new album about new chapters in our lives. We are a very ‘human’ band—always have been—and our songs are all rooted in our real-life experiences. The Dusk In Us is that new chapter, just as previous records were before that.”
Pallbearer is a metal band from Central Arkansas, formed in 2008 after spending time playing in various bands around the Little Rock underground metal scene. Paying homage to doom metal of old while still looking wholly forward, the band built upon the underground success of their initial demo offering in 2010 and their debut full length "Sorrow and Extinction" was released in February, 2012 to virtually universal critical acclaim. Now the band slowly marches onward to deliver its progressively-tinged beautiful gloom on a global scale.
Krieg was formed in 1995 under the usual circumstances before the budding U.S. black metal scene took hold internationally. After recording three demos and appearing on several compilations Krieg recorded a full-length Rise of the Imperial Horde for Blood Fire Death Records in 1997. Krieg continually recorded for several splits and demos until 2001 when they signed to Red Stream records for the release of Destruction Ritual and 2003’s critically acclaimed The Black House. In 2004 Krieg announced its hiatus with a final record Blue Miasma. In between 2000 and 2007 the project released several splits, vinyls and cassettes on almost every important underground label including Painiac Records, Sombre Records and Spikekult. Krieg’s released output exceeds more than 40 items, not counting numerous bootlegs and unreleased material.

Krieg also became a prominent live band doing several DIY style tours in America and Europe, including being the first American black metal band to play in Romania and Serbia. Shows have ranged from violent, nearly punk styled 20 minute bursts of noise to over an hour of well honed material culled from close to 15 years of activity.

In 2008 Krieg announced its full return with several live performances in the U.S. and the recording of a split 7 inch with Caina. 2009 saw Krieg headline several fests and undertake a reclamation of their reputation for emotional and violent performances. The Black House was also named in Terrorizer Magazine’s black metal special as one of the ten most important American black metal records.

Krieg’s sole member, Imperial (Neill Jameson) is also involved with ambient/shoegaze black metal duo N.i.l, Twilight (featuring members of Nachtmystium, Leviathan and Isis) as well as collaborations and session work with Judas Iscariot, Nachtmystium, members of Profanatica, Nyktalgia, Kult ov Azazel and Averse Sefira.

2010 will bring the new record The Isolationist which will be Krieg’s most challenging and bizarre release to date, continually pushing boundaries as the goal has always been.
Venue Information:
Union Transfer
1026 Spring Garden St.
Philadelphia, PA, 19123