At The Gates - The Flames Of The End

Wow, this item brings back a few memories. Nine years after the “Suicidal Final Art” compilation album, our prayers have been heard. The first and (obviously) last DVD of At The Gates was launched by Earache Records. What we have here is nothing else but the worthy inheritance of one of the best and most influential Swedish bands ever. This DVD set is real value for money and every fan shouldn´t hesitate to buy it immediately. It comes as a deluxe digipack edition with full colour booklet and about 320 minutes of total playing time. But let´s get a bit deeper into the complete works:

The first DVD (“Under A Serpent Sun - The Story of At The Gates”) contains a detailed and exclusive documentary with over 2 hours of playing time. It also features lots of interviews with the band and shows the musicians at various places in Sweden, e.g. at their last rehearsal room, at local clubs where the first At The Gates shows took place, etc. Companions like Mikael Stanne of Dark Tranquillity fame also have their say and talk about the early days of Swedish Death Metal. The whole footage was filmed and directed by guitarist Anders Björler. As a bonus, you get the video clips for “Kingdom Gone”, “The Burning Darkness”, “Terminal Spirit Disease” and “Blinded By Fear”. The interviews are in Swedish, but don´t worry - there are of course English subtitles.

DVD Nr. 2 (entitled “Purgatory Unleashed”) contains one of the amazing reunion shows, which was filmed at Wacken Open Air 2008 in Germany in front of about 100.000 maniacs. The sound is simply awesome and the perfomance was captured by various cameras to bring the magic of At The Gates right into your living room. If you witnessed this show, you already know what to expect. If not, prepare for a groundbreaking and influential Best-Of live set, including all-time classics like “Under A Serpent Sun”, “All Life Ends” or “Slaughter Of The Soul”. Meanwhile “Purgatory Unleashed” was also released as a normal live CD.

The third and last DVD (“Only The Dead Are Smiling”) features 26 rare and unseen live performances which were filmed all around the world from 1991 - 2008. The video quality of course varies from one location to another but it´s always above the average bootleg level to assure the viewing pleasure. It´s also a great way to compare the early years with the later, even more outstanding era.

“The Flames Of The End” is a must have item for every fan. No matter which release is your favourite one - the entire career of At The Gates is covered by extensive interviews and live recordings, leaving nothing to be desired. Essential!

DVD 1: Under A Serpent Sun - The Story Of At The Gates

DVD 2: Purgatory Unleashed - Live At Wacken

DVD 3: Only The Dead Are Smiling

Earache Records
Reviewer: Alex
Mar 25, 2010

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