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Anubis Gate
Andromeda Unchained
August 2007
Released: 2007, Locomotive Music
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Mortuai

A single lineup change can sometimes make a tremendous difference for a band - sometimes good, sometimes bad. Often a change in vocalist has a much greater impact than a replacement in any other position, and such certainly seems to be the case for Danish prog-metallers Anubis Gate. Both their 2004 debut PURIFICATION and their 2005 follow-up A PERFECT FOREVER, while good releases, seemed to be just shy of being "great" albums but showed significant promise of what the group could accomplish in the future. After an incident involving the temporary loss of then-singer Torben Askholm's voice on the tour for their second album, the band decided they needed to find a new vocalist and found one in the person of their longtime producer, Jacob Hansen (who is also the vocalist for thrash band Invocator and prog band Beyond Twilight). While I cannot be certain the change in vocals is solely responsible for the results on 2007's ANDROMEDA UNCHAINED, I can say for sure it hasn't hurt, for the album is a definite improvement over their prior work and one of the bettter works of melodic progressive metal I've heard in the past several years.



Musically, Anubis Gate presents an intriguing medley of influences, bringing to bear the sound of 80's melo-prog metal groups like Crimson Glory, Fates Warning, and early Queensryche and infusing it with the late-90's heavy-prog riffage of groups like Pagan's Mind and Communic as well as a dose of keyboard-drenched atmospherics in the vein of Lord Bane. Production is well-polished and clear with excellent instrumental and vocal balance...maybe a little TOO polished in the choruses, which while very catchy perhaps venture just a little too far into 'pop' territory for some tastes. Hansen's voice is clear and melodically strong with a good mid-to-high range, a near-perfect match for the musical style. Perhaps somewhat surprisingly for a prog-oriented group, guitar and keyboard leads, while excellently melodically crafted and well-executed when they appear, are for the most part relatively short and subdued (at least in comparison to the histrionic madness of some bands), focusing on enhancing the overall song structure rather than concentrating on demonstrating the player's technical skill. This doesn't mean the album is simplistic - far from it, in fact...there are time signature changes and melodic shifts a-plenty, changing effortlessly from tight, driving metallic rhythms to eerily-atmospheric passages to epic melodic choruses to synth-laden instrumental passages and back again without ever letting those changes throw the overall direction of the songs off track. Much like prior Anubis Gate releases, ANDROMEDA UNCHAINED is a concept album, and as is appropriate for such a release, four of the fourteen pieces are intros or interludes between songs. Of the remaining ten, highlight cuts include the energetic drive of "Waking Hour," the Queensryche-meets-Dream Theater-while-Pink Floyd-looks-on ballad "Take Me Home," the progressive chaos of epic tracks "This White Storm Through My Mind" and "The End Of Millenium Road," and the heavy riffs and instantly catchy choral melodies of "The Final Overture." While some of the others - particularly the somewhat lackluster title track - may not be quite as impressive, none of the songs can truly be considered 'weak.'



It's always great to see a band improve on previous efforts, and Anubis Gate have certainly managed to accomplish that feat with their latest release. While not for everyone, ANDROMEDA UNCHAINED should definitely be on the list to check out for fans of melodic progressive metal.
Track Listing

1. Freak Storm At Post Zeta...One Child Missing...
2. Snowbound
3. Waking Hour
4. Andromeda Unchained
5. Banished From Sector Q
6. Beyond Redemption
7. Resurrection Time
8. Escape Pod
9. This White Storm Through My Mind
10. The Final Overture
11. Take Me Home
12. Point Of No Concern
13. The End Of Millenium Road
14. The Stars Of Canis Minor

Lineup

Jacob Hansen - Vocals, Additional Guitars
Morten Sørensen - Drums
Jesper M. Jensen - Guitars
Kim Olesen - Guitars, Synthesizer
Henrik Fevre - Bass, Lead Vocals on "Take Me Home"

Other reviews

» Andromeda Unchained
by Mortuai

» Andromeda Unchained
by Anders Sandvall

» Anubis Gate
by Waspman

» Horizons
by JP


Next review: » Anubis Gate - Andromeda Unchained
Previous review: » Antonello Giliberto - The Mansion Of Lost Souls

Anubis Gate
Andromeda Unchained
November 2007
Released: 2007, Locomotive Records/Intromental
Rating: 5.0/5
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall

Anubis Gate is a Danish act that’s been together since 2001. The debut PURIFICATION dropped in 2003 and two years later, A PERFECT FOREVER was released, which is the album they’re now about to follow up. The latest line-up change saw singer Torben step down when he passed over the mic to bass player Henrik Fevre as a temporary solution. When the band started their search for a new singer they didn’t have to look very far. Their new singer stood right in front of them in producer Jacob Hansen. My bio states this as being sci-fi metal, whatever that means. I, on the other hand, describe it as a mix of classic 80’s heavy metal with a little modern melodic progressive metal.

There are a lot of prominent guitar riffs, heavy pounding drums, strong bass lines and amazing lead vocals. It’s very technical and the band has added what sounds like a church choir to add depth and character to the music. The band has a lot in common with acts such as Crimson Glory, Savatage, Fates Warning, Pink Floyd and Iron Maiden in terms of musicality. They have taken the best of the afore mentioned band’s elements and updated them for the 21st century in an amazing way.

This is an album that grows on you. The first few times I listened to it, I didn’t get it at all but I’ve grown to love it more over time. It’s progressive and dark and maybe not my cup of tea but after several plays I’m a fan of Anubis Gate and ANDROMEDA UNCHAINED. I can’t find any bad songs; this is pure perfection. Jacob Hansen produced it and now, as a singer in the band, he knows exactly what the band wants their production to be. The musical landscape is grand, epic and majestic.

This is the perfect album for every fan of progressive heavy metal out there and when you push play, I promise you that you won’t be able to put the album aside. I’m happy to give Anubis Gate the highest ranking and it is about time.
Track Listing

1. Freak Storm at Past Zeta….One Child Missing (intro)
2. Snowbound
3. Waking Hour
4. Andromeda Unchained
5. Banished from Sector Q
6. Beyond Redemption
7. Resurrection Time
8. Escape Pod
9. This White Storm through My Mind
10. The Final Overture
11. Take Me Home
12. Point of No Concern
13. The End Of Millennium Road
14. The Stars of Canis Minor

Lineup

Jacob Hansen – lead vocals
Jesper M Jensen – guitar
Kim Olesen – guitar, keyboards
Henrik Fevre – bass
Martin Sorensen – drums

Other reviews

» Andromeda Unchained
by Mortuai

» Andromeda Unchained
by Anders Sandvall

» Anubis Gate
by Waspman

» Horizons
by JP


Next review: » Anubis Gate - Anubis Gate
Previous review: » Antonello Giliberto - The Mansion Of Lost Souls





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