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Gatekeeper : Prophecy and Judgement

This 4-track CD of Canada's Gatekeeper serves as an introduction to a very promising band.

For a genre much sneered at in the past, epic Metal is in a healthier state than ever in 2013. Canada's Gatekeeper are the latest pretenders to the iron throne and this 4-track CD serves as an introduction to a very promising band. Claiming the influences of Isen Torr, Manilla Road, etc., the band certainly heads in the right direction.

Opening track 'Tale of Twins' is the EP's most Doom-oriented piece here and for me the album stand-out, 7 minutes of slow-paced epic Metal. The mournful and strong vocals bring to mind Halcyon-era Solstice and the overall feel is somewhat reminiscent of an Atlantean Kodex on a budget. The production on 'Prophecy & Judgement' is quite Spartan and you perhaps feel that the a few more layers would have given a bit more power and depth to the whole - on the other hand the rough production gives the band's sound a welcome underground vibe.

Don't get me wrong Gatekeeper are not the finished article, there are odd meandering passages on this CD that don't really go anywhere such as the middle section of 'Swan Road Saga' and on occasion some of the pieces don't hang together as perhaps they should. An example of this would be the second track 'North Wolves': there are some really interesting individual sections during its 9 minutes but at points it feels like totally different tracks crudely stitched together rather than the music achieving any actual flow. But to balance that, this very song also contains some great lead solos and the excellent vocal performance throughout the EP is another plus.

To all Doom worshippers, I have to say that although there are Doom elements in Gatekeeper's sound, the band has a strong leaning towards a more epic Metal tradition and for fans of that style there is much to enjoy here. I still get the feeling that with a little work on the arrangement side of things Gatekeeper could be something truly special. One to watch, without question.

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Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Tale of Twins
2. North Wolves
3. Swan Road Saga
4. Prophecy & Judgement

Duration : Approx. 31 minutes

Visit the Gatekeeper bandpage.

Reviewed on 2013-10-10 by Lee Threlfall
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