Sunday, February 21, 2010

Who's better- ENTOMBED or AT THE GATES?

Question: This is one for my own personal curiosity since you put both styles of swedish death metal out on the label. Also ive been reading the "swedish death metal" book. Im wondering if personally now do you prefer the stockholm style of sludgy death metal influenced by early florida death, hardcore pun and grindcore for example entombed, unleashed etc. Or are you personally more into the gothenburg style as practiced by at the gates, inflames etc? From:

Answer: Well both were pretty groundbreaking in their own right, and both of them were influential enough to actually change the sound of their peers and even of other bands further afield, at the time. Of the two my fave is AT THE GATES.

Entombed basically put Swedish underground metal on the global map, they alone made all the breakthroughs, and took all the plaudits and sold a crazy amount of records from 1990-93. The band were at the peak of their powers as Wolverine Blues hit the number 3 slot in the Swedish National Chart in 1993. Actually I found it weird to read news reports about 2007's Serpent Saints record, that it was the bands highest charting album ever in Sweden. I guess the impressive chart feat Earache achieved 15 years beforehand was too long ago to remember? Entombed are a forgetful bunch. My memories of Entombed are also clouded by the years of bitter legal wranglings, where they basically walked out of my deal mid-contract to sign with East West, a major label, who promptly dropped the band before releasing anything anyway.

Earache picked up At The Gates in 1995 after they had done 3 albums for Peaceville and that deal was over.The same year we released their Slaughter Of The Soul opus. ATG really did invent something special, having twin guitars and harmonies made the sound more palatable to the average metalhead I think. The band undertook a grueling worldwide touring schedule to support the release, but the stresses of 2 full European tours and 2 full USA tours, back to back, caused the band to fold. Some of the members regrouped as The Haunted. Even after the split, the record got a life of its own, and was regularly cited by most of the US metalcore bands - Shadows Fall, KIllswitch etc- which sprung upand ruled the underground metal world, post 2000. The band were long-defunct, but that record would eventually receive coveted Hall of Fame status (Number 2 slot) in Decibel mag.

As an aside, I was playing DEATH BREATH "Let it stink " the other day,and the song 'Dead But Walking' is a brilliant retro-classic, a dead ringer for Autopsy, Repulsion era early US Death metal. It got me thinking why, at least to some journos and pundits, the new breed of Thrash and NWOTHM bands are considered unoriginal, simply because they happen to play music which they like, which happens to be music which predated Death Metal. Yet somehow copying Autopsy gets you lauded as amazing, and is perfectly OK? Its not like Slayer or Maiden were bad acts, and yet Repulsion were great? Double standards are going on methinks.I actually think it's because Slayer and Maiden are such huge bands the audacity of playing material that sounds a bit like them marks you out as a tad over-ambitious.

Anyway- heres At The Gates- Live at Wacken 2008, taken from the 3 DVD set out which came out today!

1 comment:

Lewis said...

I think the difference between death breath and the new wave of thrash and the new wave of trad heavy metal is that nicke was actually there in the 80s and so its not viewed as a rip off or retro band.