Released: 2005, GMR Music Group
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Slowgate was formed in 1995 in a little town called Boden, a town located almost as far up in the north of Sweden you can get. The band are influenced by the darkness and cold that reigns the north of Sweden during the winter. In Boden there’s winter almost 6 months of the year. Slowgate have also produced and arranged a festival that features bands from that part of Sweden.
Slowgate’s music sounds like a combination of old school grinding thrash that in some parts transcends into heavy metal. When you listen to them, it feels like you’re back at the end of the 80’s.
NORDIC RAGE was recorded in Bat Cave North Studios in Luleå, a town nearby Boden. It was produced by the band and the brothers Peter and Håkan Wallström; they are also responsible for engineering. The production sounds absolutely dreadful, and it almost makes you want to rip your ears off. This kind of music demands a solid production with a lot of space for shredding guitar and screaming vocals, and this production is as far from that as possible. The production on NORDIC RAGE sounds more like a demo than an album. It sounds weak, primitive (in a bad way) and the drum sound is beyond unacceptable. I usually like albums that have an 80’s smelling production, but so is NOT the case here.
All of the members have taken part in the writing but the main writers are Jan and Cribba. In addition to the production ideosynchracies, the material itself is flawed. Slowgate seems to have problems deciding what kind of music style they want to play. Sometimes it’s old school thrash, and the next time it’s 80’s heavy metal; this inconsistency makes no one happy. The material feels un-inspired, boring and it’s nothing that captures me the least. I can even say that this band ought to do some more rehearsing before they can pull off making another album.
The singer is weak. The only positive thing I can find about the album are the two guitar players, Nick and Thomas, who seem to know what they’re doing, and know how to handle a guitar. The rhythm section does an excellent job and gives the other members a solid foundation to stand on.
Don’t invest in NORDIC RAGE; buy something else instead.
No song on this sorry album is worthy of being a killer track.