The Forum, London is a serious hit & miss venue for sound & when it isn’t full to capacity you really notice it. At The Gates aren’t playing to a full house but the spread-out crowd are loud in their welcome as the opening speech from At War With Reality rings out.
The band takes to the stage with a burst of excitement & energy that seems to defy the years they’ve been around (off & on). Death & the Labyrinth is the opening song & is met with as much love as long-time favourites.
The place is explosive, filled with head-banging & a pretty epic looking circle pit & it only gets bigger as the amazing Slaughter of the Soul is aired next. Keeping up with the band & trying to match Tomas’s singing should be an impossible task but the crowd tries hard & even manages to be louder during Cold.
2 different title tracks, At War With Reality & Terminal Spirit Disease both impress & it is really nice to see just how well new material sits amongst material from the late-90’s.
The band isn’t the most talkative but Tomas makes sure London knows just how appreciative they are of the reception they are receiving.
An impressive thing to note from this set list is just how varied it is…the band rarely plays more then 1 from an album before moving to another. Raped by the Light of Christ, The Circular Ruins & Under a Serpent Sun move things along nicely although you can see some of that early energy going from the crowd.
New track, City of Mirrors, does little to galvanise an exhausted looking crowd & it does seem like the band are losing the crowd a little. Thankfully the popular Suicide Nation & Windows from the seminal album, The Red in the Sky is Ours brings things back in the bands favour. The latter sounding unbelievably tight which applies to the band as a whole.
It’s a good time to praise just how well the band are performing on stage, not a hiccup in sight & the Forums normally questionable sound isn’t a problem here. In fact At The Gates are deafening at times!
Energy renewed…Heroes & Tombs off the new album goes down well but it’s the double header of Nausea & World of Lies that gets everyone bouncing. Two final songs, The Burning Darkness & The Book of Sand (The Abomination) are aired to a slowly dwindling crowd.
At The Gates are playing quite late into the night & plenty of people have left to get their trains home so it is to a half-full venue that the band return almost immediately for an encore. It’s not that I’m not grateful for it…I just wish bands would make us work for it a bit more.
Blinded by Fear is epic sounding & its amazing to see that everyone is still going nuts for what At The Gates are offering. Kingdom Gone wraps up the history lesson from the band nicely before they roll out the final song off the new album, The Night Eternal which is a brave choice.
At The Gates was incredibly diverse & heavy with a great selection of songs played. Around the middle of the set it seemed to sag a little but the band were easily able to bring it back their way. The sound was amazing, the banter brief but nice & the crowd appreciative.
At The Gates @ The Forum, London (04/12/14)