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Anubis Gate: Anubis Gate

Anubis Gate's self-titled fifth album sees a substantial change in the band's sound, as Jacob Hansen, the vocalist on the band's previous two albums, is now gone and bassist Henrik Fevre has replaced him. It is an interesting change in the lineup because Fevre is said to be the writer of the vocal melodies on previous releases, but hearing him sing produces different results. His voice is neither as distinctive as original vocalist Torben Askholm's nor as powerful as Jacob Hansen's. He possesses a clear midrange tone to which he sticks throughout the whole course of the album. Though he has a nice timbre to his singing, it does seem questionable whether he can carry the pieces to their deserved apex during the choruses.

The songs on the album are characterized by melodic twin guitar work occasionally supported by discreet keyboards and clear-sung vocal harmonies. Unlike on previous discs, the speed of riffing has been toned down, perhaps so as to accommodate Fevre's vocal parts. In their place are heavy riffs that slice through melodic constructs and a solid rhythmic backbone. On a song like "The Re-Formation Show," for instance, they opt for a more riff-driven composition highlighting the clarity of the vocals on top of a strong keyboard presence before wrapping it up with an extended instrumental break. Also present in the mix are the more modern cuts "Facing Down" and "World in a Dream" of which the former sounds like an 80s pop-rock piece recycling its chorus too many times while the latter totally belies its roots, as it is built around semi-sung vocals and a repetitive, droney two-note riff. Hence, it is debatable whether these songs contribute to or detract from the unity of the album. The band tries to recharge itself with the relatively aggressive and uptempo "Desiderio Omnibus," but the faster moments drown out the vocals, and honestly, Fevre is not meant to do vocals in this type of music. He used to effectively support the guitars accentuating the pieces' moods on earlier releases, but now neither the low-end nor the vocal parts stand out with a few exceptions.

I have always argued that the departure of original vocalist Torben Askholm affected the band negatively. While they produced strong material with Jacob Hansen on Andromed Unchained and, especially, The Detached, they also lost some of their uniqueness and own voice that is easily noticeable on the first two albums, with their debut Purification still being their finest hour, in my opinion.

  1. Hold Back Tomorrow
  2. The Re-Formation Show
  3. Facing Dawn
  4. World in a Dome
  5. Desiderio Omnibus
  6. Oh My Precious Life
  7. Golden Days
  8. Telltale Eyes
  9. River
  10. Circumstanced

Added: November 1st 2011
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Anubis Gate website
Hits: 3705
Language: english

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Anubis Gate: Anubis Gate
Posted by Jeff B, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-11-01 12:19:21
My Score:

The fifth and most recent album from Denmark's premier progressive metal export is sure to have fans talking quite a bit. Jacob Hansen's departure may seem like a pretty massive blow to some Anubis Gate followers, but rest assured - the music on this self titled effort is every bit as strong as any of us would've expected. As a matter of fact, I'd venture to say that Anubis Gate actually exceeds expectations across the board. Sleek, powerful, and modern melodic progressive metal is the name of the game here, and Anubis Gate delivers this style better than any other current act on the scene. Here's an album that's decidedly catchy, melodic, and easily accessible, yet it still contains enough quirky progressive trademarks to satisfy most of the progheads out there. For my money, Anubis Gate is one of the best melodic progressive power metal albums out there.

Rather than replacing Jacob Hansen with a new vocalist, the band instead decided to bring bassist Henrik Fevre up to the microphone; a very good decision in my opinion. Henrik has a very powerful and commanding pair of pipes in my mind, and his distinct delivery is unique from that of many other prog/power metal vocalists. His tasteful and melodic singing is actually one of my favorite aspects of this album. Musically, we're dealing with very sleek and almost commercial sounding progressive metal. Though melodic and polished prog metal typically doesn't appeal that much to me, Anubis Gate delivers the style with so much class and emotion that it's difficult not to be amazed. Catchy yet intricate tracks like "Hold Back Tomorrow", "World In a Dome", or "Golden Days" are absolute masterpieces of the genre.

In many regards, Anubis Gate reminds me of a more modern version of Fates Warning's Parallels or Queensr˙che's Empire. All three of these albums are fantastic examples of top-notch metal music that is both progressive and intricate, yet still easily accessible and melodic. I could easily see this album being right up the alley of fans of the two aforementioned albums, as well as melodic power metal and traditional progressive metal in general. This is much more polished than many fans of 'raw' progressive metal may enjoy, but any open-minded fan of the genre who can handle a sleek production with polished riffs and melodic song structures should be in for a real treat.

I ended up really being blown away by Anubis Gate, and I have a feeling this album will go on to be remembered as one of 2011's strongest progressive metal albums - surely no small feat when you consider how steep the competition is this year! This is a much more polished and accessible slice of melodic prog metal than some fans of the genre may be expecting, but I think it'll be difficult to not be left at least somewhat impressed by this irresistible observation. 4.5 stars are the least I can hand out to Anubis Gate. Although all eyes may be on Dream Theater, Symphony X, and Arch / Matheos right now, every prog metal fan should make sure not to let this gem slip under their radars.

Anubis Gate: Anubis Gate
Posted by Scott Ward, SoT Staff Writer on 2011-10-06 10:23:45
My Score:

Usually the change of lead singers is a kiss of death. Sure there are sometimes when it is a blessing but for the most part a band loses it's character with the departure of their vocalist. Anubis Gate is one of those exceptions to the rule. With bassist Henrik Fevre taking over, the vocals may not be as distinct but they are certainly as melodic and suits the style that Anubis Gate enlist on their newest offering. The band has always been a bit of an enigma as to why they haven't become more popular and this splendid offering with the change of lead singer continues the high quality standard they have shown of previous releases and hopefully will help them to break through.

The opening song "Hold Back Tomorrow" introduces Henrik as the new vocalist and immediately the the mid 80's version of the group Yes comes to mind. Fevre has a great mid range vocal delivery that brings shades of Jon Anderson to mind from that time period. Musically they produce a very effective power metal anthem that sets the tone for the rest of the disc. Sit back and get ready for a very entertaining ride that is filled with soaring choruses, powerful melodies and very creative song writing.

Epic is the only way to describe one of my favorites of the disc "World in a Dome". Dynamic guitar passages mixed with tasty keyboard work makes this one a real treat. For a grandiose display of power metal look no further than this rocker. Songs like this one are where Anubis Gate shine and this one is as bright as the sun. Not only do they get the major components right, the bands attention to detail really shows on tunes like this one. They do it right and all the hard work pays off with a spectacular gem of a song.

I really have enjoyed this disc and plan to do so many times in the future. From the opening moments to the sizzling and lengthy closer "Circumstanced" Anubis Gate is an album that delivers on all aspects. Musically impeccable, tasty vocals and very good stories to boot make this one a great addition to the library.

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