Tag Archives: gothenburg metal

Soilwork @ Highline Ballroom (2/15/2009)

Logo - Soilwork
Artist: Soilwork
Venue: Highline Ballroom (New York, NY)
Opener: Swallow The Sun, Warbringer, Darkane
Date: 2/15/2009
Label: Nuclear Blast Records

There was a time not too long ago where I felt as if I was catching the band Soilwork more often than I would like to and that was causing their sound to be something that I was not always excited about even though I always managed to enjoy the shows. This happens when you see bands again and again and let’s face it they did tour relentlessly for their “Stabbing The Drama” CD and even after a short break to record “Sworn To A Great Divide” they would be right back at it as champions of their own new music. Having passed on a few appearances I was happy to be present as the band headlined the very comfortable space of the Highline Ballroom. This is a great room and to help Soilwork level the place would be Swallow The Sun, Warbringer and Darkane. We got in place nice and early to be sure we wouldn’t miss any of these great bands. Swallow The Sun would be up first.
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At The Gates @ Fillmore at Irving Plaza (7/9/2008)

One of the big shows of 2008 was the reunion of Gothenburg Metal legends At The Gates. We were not originally supposed to be at this show because the logistics couldn’t be worked out for our attendance but at the eleventh hour our friend Jasmine St. Clair came through with an extra ticket. The show was a resounding success and be two nights of Metal. We documented our thoughts which you can all see by scrolling past the logo below.

Logo - At The Gates

Artist: At The Gates
Venue: The Fillmore NY (New York, NY)
Opener: Municipal Waste, Darkest Hour, Toxic Holocaust
Date: 7/9/2008
Label: Earache Records

If you have been following the way that the Technical Death Metal scene has progressed and improved over the years, it is painfully clear that without the influences of bands like At The Gates that the geography of this Heavy Metal landscape would have been a very different place for us to experience. If you are among those who might require a little bit more background on this then you should be aware that At The Gates was one of the big three bands who founded what came to be referred to as “The Gothenburg Sound”. The other two bands are Dark Tranquillity and In Flames and each of them is still active in today’s Metal scene. At The Gates had broken up in 1996 and formed different projects that were taken to different levels and it wasn’t until 2007 that a reformation and reunion tour was planned. In 1995, the band released what was referred to as their most seminal work in “Slaughter Of The Soul”, and this genre staple would be the focus of tonight’s performance at The Fillmore NY in New York City. The original plan was for there to be only one gig but the immediate sell out of the first scheduled date led to the wise decision to add a second show. Oddly enough, this second performance would now fall before the original date making it the first show for the band in NYC. Supporting the band would be Darkest Hour, Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust and sadly I would arrive slightly after Darkest Hour had started and hence would find out that I missed the other two openers. What I did hear from Darkest Hour was pretty good and I remember seeing them at another show over the earlier year and felt that for this gig were much more on top of their game then I remembered them being that first time. So inside I was and was made aware that this new second/first show had also sold out in record time and everyone in attendance was hungry to hear these Gods of the Gothenburg sound without any question. When the house lights dimmed for their arrival it seemed like all Hell was breaking loose.
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“Slaughter Of The Soul” (CD/DVD) by At The Gates

Artist: At The Gates
Title: “Slaughter Of The Soul” (CD/DVD)
Label: Earache Records
Release Date: 3/25/2008
Genre: Melodic Death Metal
Rating: 4/5

If you are one of those Metal heads who loves the powerful drive and intensity of Melodic Death Metal then you probably already have this molten masterpiece in your music collection for it is with At The Gates’ “Slaughter Of The Soul” that the soon to be called “Gothenburg Sound” first earned its name. Originally released in 1995, the album is considered to be one of the seminal works in the genre and it was with this release and alongside bands like Dark Tranquillity and In Flames that a genre was defined. The music scene in 1995 over in Sweden was clearly different as those three bands delivered music like this while the heavy music fans in the States got the Grunge Movement and while some of those bands were also profound there were hundreds being signed to deals that were nothing of the sort. The more Metalized fans began to focus their attention on the European nations and allowed bands like At The Gates to become legends, inspirations, and nothing less than leaders in the field of this new brand of Death Metal. The special edition of “Slaughter Of The Soul” will remind both older and newer fans of this influence as tracks like “Blinded By Fear” and “Unto Others” slam you into the wall with an unbridled sense of power once again and since this is a remastered edition the songs sound brighter and cleaner than they ever have before. There is a lot of mood and aggression being delivered on this one and while it was the bands fourth studio release it is clearly one of their very best and I am happy to report that it has withstood the tests of time and stands strong and tall above all such efforts that came after it.
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Dark Tranquillity @ Blender Theater at Gramercy (3/26/2007)

Tonight was a co-headlining tour that was being done by The Haunted and Dark Tranquillity and depending on what night you went you would have one or the other switching off the main band spot. In NYC the show would find Dark Tranquillity being the main attraction and the killer show also featured Scar Symmetry who were making their first appearance in the states along with popular opening mainstays Into Eternity who were welcoming new members to their ranks. We made sure to be in the new Blender Theater early enough to be able to document all of the bands in words and images. Should you want to see more just click the logo below to be taken to our article on the main PiercingMetal.com site.

Logo - Dark Tranquillity

Artist: Dark Tranquillity
Venue: Gramercy Theatre (New York, NY)
Opener: The Haunted, Into Eternity, Scar Symmetry
Date: 3/26/2007
Label: Century Media Records

I guess I should say right off the bat that there were a few reasons that I wanted to check out this show and the first of these would be my chance to do a little exploration into a newly opened venue. Conveniently located on E23rd Street off Lexington Avenue, The Gramercy Theatre is a former movie house that has been modified to handle music performances. The venue is served up like a miniature version of the Nokia Theatre and has both a general admission standing area and seating. Whether the seating will be assigned for some shows is not clear to me but it could very well be the case depending on who is performing. I wasn’t sure of the capacity of the place, but guessed around 800 which make it smaller than both Irving Plaza and B.B. Kings at full attendance. This allows the fan to get up close to their favorite players should they pay a visit. Tonight’s show would also be exciting because it was the first appearance on US Shores for Scar Symmetry and I have been loving their latest Nuclear Blast Records release “Pitch Black Progress”. Into Eternity would perform and it’s always nice to see these guys. Tonight they would have two new members with Justin Bender of guitar and find name on drums. Labeled “The Metal For The Masses” Tour the event would be headlined by The Haunted with the co-headliner being Dark Tranquillity. On my arrival to the venue I was pleased to find that tonight’s show would be one of the Dark Tranquilllity headlining spots as the two groups had been switching it up as they rolled through America. Here is how it went down for me so pay attention.
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“Character” by Dark Tranquillity

Artist: Dark Tranquillity
Title: “Character”
Label: Century Media Records
Release Date: 1/25/2005
Genre: Progressive Death Metal
Rating: 8/10

Considered one of the pioneers in the Gothenburg sound Progressive Death Metal icons Dark Tranquility have given you the perfect CD to get into their sound if you have not already done so. Front to back this CD is an in-your-face experience that is not soon to be recovered from. The growling of Mikael Stanne raging like a madman through the widely technical and heavy riffing only strengthens the piece as each track blasts from the stereo. Having only tested their work in other listens I have to say that this one appealed to me instantly for it raised the bar on what the group helped to create so long ago. If you are a fan of groups like Opeth and Darkane you will enjoy the level of technical expertise that is demonstrated on each and every track. The drive is solid in most cases with riveting patterns coming from all the players in the group. The guitar work of Sundin and Henriksson is to be commended in high fashion while the drumming Anders Jivarp throws you into all different directions with every second. There is a great use of keyboard in this release and it adds for some great mood changes and that had a two-fold benefit for me. Music like this breaks the mold of what you expect in a certain genre and it proves that most Death Metal bands that go the Progressive route are indeed talented and not one-trick ponies.
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