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VII Gates
The Madman Inside
January 2003
Released: 2002, Independent
Rating: 4.0/5
Reviewer: Rick

Sweden serves up another great traditional metal band in the form of VII Gates. The band was formed in 1999 by Jonas Arvidsson: guitars and David Agnsviks: bass. By 2000 they have a solid lineup and set to work remodeling a rehearsal room. Late that year the band receives a set back as their David is killed in a car crash. The band soldiers on and add bass player Magnus Jacobsson. In 2001 the lineup is completed and consists of Arvidsson, Jaconsson, Ingemar Erlandsson: drums, Christer Elgren: vocals, mats Andreasson: keys and Robert Makek on guitars. 2001 saw the release of 2 demos: WHEN GATES ARE OPENING and MEMORY OF A FRIEND. VII Gates went back into the studio in the summer of 2002 to record this 6 song demo.

VII Gates play traditional metal in the vein of Iron Maiden, Savatage, Dio and, by their own reckoning, Rainbow. This last bands influence is evident on the opening track “The Saviour”. This is the closet to powermetal that VII Gates gets. The Rainbowish keyboard passages add to this an added retro feel without making the song sound old. The most interesting section is the accordion solo that starts at 1:34. It blends into the song with great effect and sets up the great guitar solo that follows. “So Far Away” slows things down and give vocalist Elmgren a chance to shine. The title track closes out the demo with the longest song on the CD clocking in at a little over 7 minutes.

I was a little surprise when I popped this disc on for the first time. I was expecting something a little more power metal oriented. What VII Gates delivered was a traditional metal experience that very few bands today do. The drumming though fast and furious at times was varied and didn’t fall into the pitfall of one-dimensional double bass pummeling. VII Gates have created a solid demo and I am sure it will only be a matter time before a label snaps up this up and coming band.
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