Thursday, July 12, 2012

Sacred Gate - When Eternity Ends

Just like Swedish metal in general, I’ve always been fond of Germanic metal, since they seem to excel in many sub-genres, mustering some of the most efficient and influential groups in the world. They already brought a new level of savagery to thrash and death metal with the rise of Sodom and Kreator, polluted the black metal universe as we know it by bringing fourth an abundance of corpse painted church burners, and even the early German power/heavy scene has had a huge impact of the current scene. Sacred Gate, though, don’t really embrace the boundaries of originality whilst inserting goblets of monolithic power metal into the simply embroidered traditional heavy metal textures, and garnishing the base of their music with simple, but fluent melodies. Sacred Gate lean towards the traditional sense of heavy metal, deliberately omitting technicality and exploiting simple, chug laden riffs rather than forming a hard hitting iron fist to work diligently and to attain copiousness in complexity.

Yes, there’s no use of all the modern power metal traits here, but at least you can rely on the quality of the ‘’old school’’ term, because these Germans have obviously worked hard to create a fertile ground for the riffs to breathe. The frontal aura has been set nicely, I’ll admit, but when the main material comes on top of it, you really can’t feel much energy besides a few songs. As I said, the only thing that decorates the chords are plain, melancholic melodies, but even the riffs don’t look as if they were composed with great care. They’re catchy, and they suit the semi-high pitched chants of vocalist well when they’re under it, but besides that, they sort of drown among the drums and lead guitars due to their lack of spike and volume.

The first two tracks caught my attention easily as they’re catchy and the choruses are very memorable and made more dynamic with a sort of punk-esque power added to the rush of the chords. There are some brief moments that I enjoyed as well, but those moments are well… brief and outnumbered by the score of monotonous melody and chord progressions. ‘’Heaven Under Siege’’ is also a nice addition to the drudgy arsenal of riffs, offering a bit of a sombre spice to churn with the music, but other than that, many songs have been dragged for too long and at some moments it almost seems as if the band is scrambling for something a little different. Now, each song is solid enough, and I never yawned throughout, but I’m just saying that some variation would definitely be nice.

The drumming is decent I guess, nothing to special, but I do like the hefty, chubby bobs of the thick bass line, supporting the guitar tone quite a lot. All in all, it’s pretty obvious Sacred Gate have gathered the key elements to form a strong power/heavy formula, a strong voice, core heavy metal riffs and a catchy beat to add some spunk, so all they’ve got to do is to embrace their aspects and adorn them even more, improve them, if need be. They can stick to the old school formula for all I care, as long as they can make their music more dynamic, I’m totally content. Such a thing can happen as the members are already veterans and the band has the required potential, but ‘’When Eternity Ends’’ remains as more plain release, durable for some time, but it's far from eternal.

Creators Of The Downfall
Burning Wings

Rating: 77,5%

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