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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Anubis Gate

Andromeda Unchained

Review by Greg Olma

Locomotive seems to be the home for many quality metal bands and Anubis Gate is no different. This is my first taste of the band and I must say that I am really impressed. They have all the right ingredients and they mix them into catchy, interesting songs. Jacob Hansen has a great set of pipes and he sings with the power and range of James LaBrie. Jesper Jensen is truly a find because he can riff with the best of them but he has the sense of melody that makes his solos memorable and catchy. He should be the inspiration for the next breed of guitar player. Morten Sorensen and Kim Olesen are as solid a rhythm section as it get giving the rest of the band a nice basis to lay their parts over. All the tracks on Andromeda Unchained are solid with quite a few standing above the pack. Now that I know what these guys are all about, I will have to search out their other 2 releases; Purification and A Perfect Forever.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Freak Show At Post Zeta...One Child Missing...
This is just a spacey keyboard intro that ushers in the real meat of the album.
Snowbound
The first thing that hits me about this is that it is very Dream Theater-ish. The vocal styles of Jacob Hansen really remind me of James LaBrie circa Images and Words. This is very much in the realm of prog-metal due to the many parts and technical playing. “Snowblind” is definitely one of the standout tracks on this CD and I love the fact that when you think it is over, the tune keeps going; almost possessing a life of its own.
Waking Hour
Anubis Gate switch gears here and go with more of a euro power metal cut. The chorus has that galloping fast drumming but the rest of the tune has more of a metal groove to it.
Andromeda Unchained
Many times the title track is usually the focal point of an album and the rest of the music/lyrics/imagery revolves around it. We get a pretty heavy tune here with some solid riffing from Jesper Jensen. Overall it is a simple song (compared to the others) but it is effective in setting a mood.
Banished From Sector Q
This intro adds some guitars to the spacey sound effects. It could have been part of “Beyond Redemption” because it flows right into it. If you didn’t have the song titles, you swear it was just part of the song.
Beyond Redemption
There are many parts to this prog-ish metal cut that have that Dream Theater vibe to it. A few euro power metal parts are thrown in to keep things interesting but I like this track because it slows down most of the time and gets a good groove going.
Resurrection Time
A nice fade in revealing some heavier riffing starts this cut. The song builds as it goes along and has more of that prog-metal hybrid that these guys are able to pull off easily.
Escape Pod
We get another spacey keyboard intro here. It is only 30 seconds, which makes me wonder why it just isn’t added to the following track.
This White Storm Through My Mind
This piece has a real epic feel to it. They still are able to throw a few progressive bits in there but overall, this track has an old school metal sound to it. It’s the second longest tune on the album but there are many parts that keep things moving along. This is another one of the highlights of the CD.
The Final Overture
The band continue with that old school metal sound here that even has a little bit of NWOBHM thrown in. No need to fear though, fans of newer euro power metal will be happy because the guys pepper this track with some of that sound also. Jensen puts in a solid performance with some cool riffing and a nice guitar solo.
Take Me Home
I wasn’t expecting this type of tune here but what a pleasant surprise. The guys mix some Triumph with Styx (Grand Illusion era) and add their own twist to this metal tune. Jesper puts in another great solo and he knows just how to do it. He plays for the song, not overdoing it with a “show-off” piece. Henrik Fevre does a great job on vocals. This may be his only lead vocal on the album but he really makes the most of it. This is kind of an odd track compared to the rest of the disc, but it is another winner on a really solid album.
Point of No Return
This track starts off mellow but then builds into an OK tune. Of all the songs on offer here, this is the weakest. There is nothing really wrong with it; it just doesn’t have that “x-factor” that the others do.
The End of Millenium Road
Even though it has a mellow keyboard start, the song builds into a Dream Theater style prog metal tune. There is something epic about the song and it is a great way to end the album. I know, there is another song but this is the albums proper closing.
The Stars of Canis Minor
The CD ends as it began, with a spacey keyboard outro. Even though the track listing puts it at over a minute, it really is only 40 seconds.
 
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