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Review: Gatekeeper - Prophecy and Judgement
Prophecy and Judgement

Label: A Forja
Year released: 2013
Duration: 31:05
Tracks: 4
Genre: Heavy/Doom

Rating: 4/5

Review online: September 5, 2013
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
Readers Rating
Prophecy and Judgement

Rated 4/5 (80%) (8 Votes)

This is the debut for a new band out of Alberta who show real promise. Gatekeeper mix in a lot of heavy/doom influences, reminding me of Solstice, Solitude Aeturnus, even Manilla Road a bit. Now that makes them sound a lot more awesome than they are, but they definitely have the right idea. The lead work on here is quite good, as are the vocals of Shorre McColman, who has a lovely, haunted tone and a real ear for melodies. The band has a good, gritty guitar tone, but the mix has little depth, so the riffs are very bare-bones and in your face, which is not the best approach for this kind of music. The songs could really use some layers to give them scope, as it is, the shallow recording job makes them sound smaller than they should.

Opener "Tale of Twins" is excellent, with a more epic feel and vocal melodies worthy of Scald. "North Wolves" tries hard but is just too unfocused to catch fire, despite some fine bits. The timing on "Swan Road Saga" is a bit iffy, but it really manages to create an atmosphere that calls to mind classic shit like Crystal Logic. Really nice use of choral effects and vocal layering. The closing title track is really evocative, with McColman really getting to stretch out and show what he can do.

I've been really detailed on this 4-song EP, but that's because I can tell this band has the shit to be something rather special. If they can deepen their sound and build some first-class riffs to go with their already fine vocals and feel for atmosphere, then they will have the potential to be great. A band to watch for.

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