Swedish melodic death metal pioneers AT THE GATES played their first concert with returning guitarist Anders Björler last night (Saturday, November 5) at the Damnation festival in Manchester, United Kingdom. Fan-filmed video and photos can be found below.
AT THE GATES will next embark on a massive tour across Europe featuring IN FLAMES, IMMINENCE and ORBIT CULTURE between November 12 and December 17.
When Anders's return to AT THE GATES was announced a month ago, vocalist Tomas Lindberg said in a statement: "It is with great pleasure we welcome Anders Björler, one of the founding members, back into the band. We are excited to tell you that we are already starting the work on the follow up to 'The Nightmare Of Being', with the same lineup that wrote 'Terminal Spirit Disease', 'Slaughter Of The Soul' and 'At War with Reality'. Anders's first show back in the band will be Damnation Fest in the U.K., and he will join us on the European tour together with IN FLAMES later this year. Great times! It really feels like a second rebirth of the band, and we are looking forward to this new chapter!"
Anders added: "It feels like coming home for sure. I have been missing the guys, of course, but also playing the guitar, writing music and the artistic creativity in general. I've been watching from the sidelines for a number of years, and I've been very proud of what they have created in my absence. I am really looking forward to writing a new album and getting back to playing live shows again."
AT THE GATES recruited Daniel Martinez (ATHEIST) to play second guitar for the band on its recent North American tour.
AT THE GATES' special "Slaughter Of The Soul" North American tour was originally planned for the 25th anniversary of the album in 2020, the COVID-19 situation forced the band to postpone the trek until 2022.
AT THE GATES played the whole "Slaughter Of The Soul" LP from start to finish, and also a mix of other tracks from its 30-plus-year career.
In August, AT THE GATES enlisted Patrik Jensen (THE HAUNTED) to play second guitar for the band at several shows, including at this year's Wacken Open Air festival in Wacken, Germany.
The Wacken gig took place less than two weeks after AT THE GATES parted ways with its guitarist of the past five years, Jonas Stålhammar.
Stålhammar joined the band in September 2017 as the replacement for Anders Björler, who left AT THE GATES in March of that year.
In addition to AT THE GATES, Stålhammar had previously played with THE LURKING FEAR, CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX, BOMBS OF HADES, GOD MACABRE, ABHOTH, UTUMNO and MACABRE END.
AT THE GATES' latest studio album, "The Nightmare Of Being", came out last year.
While main parts for "The Nightmare Of Being" were recorded in several different Swedish studios — drums at Studio Gröndal with Jens Bogren, guitars and bass with Andy La Rocque at Sonic Train Studio and vocals at Welfare Sounds with Per Stålberg — the LP was mixed and mastered at Fascination Street Studios (AMON AMARTH, OPETH, KREATOR) by Jens Bogren, who has previously worked with AT THE GATES on the "At War With Reality" comeback album in 2014. The album's visual concept was developed by artist Eva Nahon.
2018's "To Drink From The Night Itself" was the first AT THE GATES album written and recorded without Anders Björler.
Hats off to Gavin McInally, Paul and the rest of the team for an incredible two days - thank you so much!
- 6000 people celebrating the many hues of extreme music together, despite a cost of living crisis, train disruption and covid - truly heartening and testimony to both Gav and co. and the strength of our community
- Lovely bar staff and security - makes a big difference
- Immense performances from At The Gates, Pallbearer, MIsery Index, Pig Destroyer, Celeste, Wolves In The Throne Room, Full of Hell and more (my highlights!)
- The loaded fries with pulled pork and cheese sauce 😋
- Converge playing Wolverine Blues with Tompa (I think) looking on
- My tasty new Mastiff long sleeve!
Posted by Richard Holmes on Sunday, November 6, 2022
Damnation Festival At The Gates
Posted by Josh Skorczewski on Saturday, November 5, 2022
At The Gates at Damnation Festival
📷 Tim Finch Photography
Posted by The Razor's Edge on Saturday, November 5, 2022