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At the Gates

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Gothenburg, Sweden (1990 – 1996, 2007 – 2008, 2011 – present)

At the Gates is a band from Gothenburg, Sweden, and a major progenitor of the Gothenburg death metal sound. Initially active from 1990 to 1996, the band reformed in 2007 for a reunion tour.

At the Gates was formed in 1990 by former members of the pioneering death metal band Grotesque. They recorded a debut EP, Gardens of Grief, for the Dolores record label, and sold cassettes, vinyls, and XL t-shirts to promote the recording. The EP led seminal metal label Peaceville Records to sign the band, and they released their debut full-length album, The Red in the Sky Is Ours, in 1992, an album with an eclectic sound, featuring for instance neoclassical arrangements and even a string solo.

After the recording of their second studio album, With Fear I Kiss the Burning Darkness, founding member and guitarist Alf Svensson left the band in 1993 to pursue tattoo artistry, comic illustration, and his solo electronic-opera-black metal project Oxiplegatz. He was soon replaced by former House of Usher guitarist Martin Larsson, whom the band got to know during their early tours. The band continued touring Europe, and were filmed for a Headbangers Ball special featuring a tour date in the United Kingdom in July 1994.

In 1994, At the Gates released their third album, Terminal Spirit Disease, which was hailed as a breakthrough album. It contained only six new songs, but showed that the band’s sound had progressed immensely in only one year, in terms of playing and production.

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