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At the Gates’ Tomas Lindberg Names the First True ‘Death Metal’ Band

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At the Gates frontman Tomas Lindberg recently joined The MetalSucks Podcast to talk about the band’s forthcoming record, The Nightmare of Being, the legacy of their 2014 comeback album, At War with Reality, his work with Lock Up, and more.

At one point in the chat, the conversation turned to the origins of death metal, a murky and often contentious discussion. Lindberg, a student of the genre if ever there was one, was clear in his assessment, however, offering:

“Well, I guess it came a little bit from all over the place, back in the day as well. You had early Hellhammer, the Destruction songs and even Bathory here in Europe. But like very insulated in their own countries, in the small underground scene. But at the same time, Possessed coined the term on their ‘Seven Churches’ record.

“[But] I think the first band that really got out there and put it on the map — not saying they were thrash or black or whatever, even Destruction called themselves speed metal in the beginning ’cause there was no formula — I think it was Death from Florida (well, at the time of the first record, from California) who were the first to ever release a proper death metal album in that sense, for me at least. Like an underground band that came from the tape trading scene. I think that’s the first proper death metal band even though it had been touched upon from cornerstones all over the place before.”

Elsewhere in the chat, Lindberg spoke about introducing saxophone to the band’s music for the first time on their upcoming album.

You can listen to our full chat with Tomas right here or below.

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