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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: 4.25/5

Review online: April 8, 2017
Reviewed by: Omni
Readers Rating
Prophecy and Judgement

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

While I have owned this EP for a while, I have only recently revisited it and I remained quite impressed with the performances within. Comprised at the time of this recording of vocalist Shorre McColman, guitarists Jeff Black and Justin Song, bassist Leillyn McColman and drummer Tyson Travnik, Gatekeeper hails from Alberta. They play a brand of epic heavy metal inspired by bands as diverse as Atlantean Kodex, Dio and Bathory. This EP contains four long tracks and it marks their debut as a recording outfit.

The band shows a definite flair for all things epic heavy metal, with lyrics that evoke visions of warriors fighting to survive on a snowy, blood-soaked battlefield. The songs are mostly mid-paced, with heavy riffs, dramatic vocals and choral vocal arrangements. Despite showing their influences, Gatekeeper have their own sound and they prove quite capable for such a young band. Shorre McColman's powerful mid-range vocals are a highlight, and he is backed by a choir of vocalists that would make even the mighty Manowar proud. Even with the otherwise minimalist arrangements, the band achieves a surprisingly compelling sound. While they never really kick things into high gear, there is plenty of variety within the individual songs and some melancholic guitar soloing keeps things interesting. Unlike a lot of other newer heavy metal bands, the production and recording style of this EP doesn't stick out as modern and out of place in this style of music. For me, the title track is a definite strong moment and it really shows you what Gatekeeper is all about.

This EP is worthy of purchase if you have a chance to pick it up. It seems that this band has regrouped with a new lineup and they're working on a full-length album. If the songs on this EP are any indication of what they're capable of, epic heavy metal fans are in for a treat.

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Interview with Jeff Black, Jean-Pierre Abboud and David Messier on April 29, 2017 (Interviewed by Omni)
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