overground scene

Morbus Chron, At the Gates: Live at the Forum
December 10, 2014, 3:34 pm
Filed under: death metal, gigs, sweden | Tags: , , , ,

AT-THE-GATES-Triptykon-Uk-tourOn Thursday the 4th of December I had the privilege of experiencing live two brilliant bands on the same night, Morbus Chron, which I consider to be the most important contemporary death metal band, and At the Gates, the band that to a large extend defined death metal in the late 90s. Triptykon, the band led by Thomas Gabriel Fischer, leader of Celtic Frost and arguably the father of extreme metal, was also part of the bill as well as the US metalcore band Code Orange.

Morbus Chron‘s setlist consisted of six songs: “Hymns to a stiff” from the first album, “Black orb reverence” from the e.p. and “Towards a black sky”, “Ripening life”, “The perennial link” and “Terminus” from Sweven (2014). The band was casually dressed and wore light corpse-paint around their eyes. They opened with “Ripening life” and they appropriately finished with “Terminus”. Their sound was simply perfect and the songs off Sweven sounded much more powerful than on the album. None of the band members directly interacted with the audience. During the final moments of the closing song, the band members gradually left the stage, leaving Edde by himself contemplatively hitting the last few notes, ending a hauntingly perfect performance.

At the Gates‘ setlist included 18 songs from the entire career, minus the Gardens of grief e.p. They played “Kingdom gone” and “Windows” from the first album, “Raped by the light of christ” and “The burning darkness” off the second one, “Terminal spirit disease” off the third one, “Blinded by fear”, “Slaughter of the soul”, “Cold”, “Under a serpent sun”, “Suicide nation”, “World of lies” and “Nausea” off the fourth one, and “Death and the labyrinth”, “At war with reality”, “The circular ruins”, “Heroes and tombs”, “The book of sand” and “The night eternal” off the new album. The band came on stage while the intro off the new album was playing. They kicked off with “Death and the labyrinth” and finished with “The night eternal”, in a similar way to Morbus Chron, leaving only the Bjorler twins on stage. Their performance was great, Tomas’s voice sounded perfect. A couple of things that annoyed me were that the drums – probably triggered – were louder than the rest of the instruments and that Martin’s guitar was more prominent than Anders’s guitar, which was a shame as Anders is the lead guitarist.

During most of Triptykon‘s performance I was outside drinking and having a bite. Without meaning to sound disrespectful, I would rather be marking first year student essays than attending a Triptykon gig. Celtic Frost might have been pioneers and the first four of their albums will always be among my all-time favorite, but I don’t like Triptykon. At some point I was lucky to enter the concert space just before the band started playing “Circle of the tyrants“, so that was cool. The atmosphere while Triptykon were playing was how I would imagine a satanic ceremony to be like.

The ultimate highlight of the concert was undoubtedly Morbus Chron’s performance from beginning to end. I consider this band, right now, the pinnacle of death metal. I was really bummed that they did not play more songs. If they had played “Red hook horror”, “Ways of torture”, “Obscuritas” and “Aurora in the offing” I would have ripped my face off and thrown it on stage. Other highlights included the slow middle part off the amazing “The book of sand” off the latest At The Gates album, “Windows”, one of my all time favorite At The Gates songs, and “Terminal spirit disease”. Seeing At The Gates was very significant for me, since they were the second death metal band I ever listened to, after Benediction, and the band for which my admiration has not waned one iota since I first listened to them. I never got the chance to see them the first time around, before their break up in 1996, although I did see the Bjorler twins with The Haunted in Athens in September 1999 – and they played “Blinded by fear”. Of course, seeing the line-up that I first loved (minus Alf Svensson) was a whole new experience. In the end I bought two awesome Morbus Chron t-shirts and totally fan-boyed Edde, Dag and Adam from Morbus Chron.


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