At The Gates Molson Canadian Stage, Montreal QC, August 10

At The Gates Molson Canadian Stage, Montreal QC, August 10
Photo: Tim Snow
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At the Gates delivered some of Saturday's essential dramatic contrasts, from orchestral intro music straight into the Swedes' characteristic blend of speed, melody and groove. Beginning with "Slaughter of the Soul," their playing was tight, storming through a list of vintage tracks during which they barely showed their age. Guitar soloing flashed briefly in songs like "Cold" but solos and interludes never lasted long enough to slow the aggressive forward momentum. At the Gates don't like death metal — they love it, we were told, and for some added old school cred they played "Captor of Sin" off Slayer's Haunting the Chapel after crediting Slayer, and especially late guitarist Jeff Hanneman, for death metal's basic existence. With the return of the backing track, At the Gates finally transitioned into an almost-encore, comprising fan favourite "Blinded by Fear," "Nausea," and the oldest track of the set, "Kingdom Come," to conclude on a triumphant, if backward-looking, note.