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1995: When At The Gates rewrote the metal template

With fourth album Slaughter Of The Soul, Swedish legends At The Gates lashed brutal riffs to razor-sharp melodies, laying down a template for future generations

It’s May 8, 2008. At The Gates are taking the stage in Osaka, Japan. It’s their first time playing the country – and their first show since splitting 12 years earlier. They open with the title track from their fourth album, Slaughter Of The Soul, which begins with a churning, disjointed riff that stops, suddenly, before frontman Tomas ‘Tompa’ Lindberg bellows a ferocious, “Go!”

In Osaka, where audience interaction is far from guaranteed, the entire crowd shouts it with him. That, bassist Jonas Björler thought at the time, had never happened before.

“When we reunited in 2008, those shows were amazing,” he says. “That was genuinely the greatest response we’d ever had. We got goosebumps. It was overwhelming to see how much people loved the songs we’d written all those years ago. But it all happened by word of mouth when we were busy doing other things. You can’t complain about making a record that people say is a classic. But the hype didn’t start until two years after we’d split up!”


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