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Gate 6: The God Machine

Gate 6 is new Dutch prog band that released 'God Machines' last year. The band is made up of Jan Koster, on keyboards; Martin Kuipers, on drums; Jacques Suurmond, on bass; Tony ten Wolde, on guitars; and Erik Masselink, on lead vocals.

'The God Machine' is "about introspective capacity, the ability to self-judge the merits of your decisions, to look inside yourself and observe and address feelings, thoughts, experiences and memories". Ok, we can run with that…let's begin…

'Father Son' kicks things off with bold keys and subtle sound effects, before a piano takes over the stage, to finish off the opening. Then, a blasting guitar, bass, drums and key explosion rips open the soundscape and we are off like a bolt of lightning. Similar opening to maybe Frost or Kino. With that familiar musical sound. Only that is where the similarities end. Masselink has a more powerful and dynamic voice than the aforementioned bands. The lead guitar soloing, bass, and keyboards will bring an immediate smile to your face. This opening track is full of power and lights the firecracker early. Ready for more action….go!

'The God Machine', opens with female narration, "On November 26, 2042, the Internet became self aware and it wasn't friendly. Only few had given the resemblance to a neural network much thought. Only a handful of people had consistently warned that this might happen. Way too few to make an impact. Microseconds after the event, consciousness had spread to every corner of the planet, taking control of vital systems everywhere...". have to buy the album to hear and read the full story. But suffice it to say that the title song may be the best track on the album. The story and concept of the album is laid out for all to hear. Masselink's vocals are perfectly Orwellian for this track. Excellent guitar, bass, drums and keys that do a fantastic job of creating energy, impact and provide a dramatic melody to fit the concept.

'My Warning' slows things down a little…after the two concussion explosions that opened this album. Masselink's vocals expand and at the same time show their dynamic capabilities, sounding even a little like Steve Perry, in full vocal stretch. Yah, that was amazing. But it's the music that really makes this track. That roving bass, the pounding drums, and the grinding and then soaring lead guitar...inlaid with the beds of soft keyboard rhythms…fantastic.

'Casualties of War' picks the pace back up with drums first, then heavy bass and lead guitar before Masselink's vocals return. More of that Steve Perry sound again…but a little gruffer. The story unfolds to cool keys, solid drums, great bass rhythm, and interspersed lead guitar licks.

'Man to Be' opens boldly with flash point power lead guitars, bass, and drums. Then Masselink returns with keys supporting. The story is starting to get darker with each track; however, the music is still bright with keys and excellent lead guitar. This is a vocals – driven song where much of the story gets laid out in the over 8 minute track. The keys towards the end are some of the best on the album.

An almost Led Zep, 'Kashmir' lead guitar, bass and drum opening welcomes 'It's Over', before Masselink returns to add the storyline details with lyrics. At times he even takes on a Fish-like persona, from Marillion fame. Great guitar solos and those wonderful floating keys just surround your ears with magic and light.

'I Am' opens with stunning solo piano and this time Masselink really pushes that Steve Perry effect…full gun. "Too far from home. Turn around again". The lead guitar solos that follow even have that Neal Schon edge. No, it's too proggy for Journey, but there are similarities.

'Killing Me' opens with slashing razor guitar like a Rush track. Then bass and drums. Much faster rhythm with those swirling keys finally turning on their blender full of mystery.

Beautiful piano opens '11.26.2042' quietly like a soft dawn. You absolutely do not want this to end. Thankfully it is not interrupted with other instruments or vocals…however; it only lasts a little over a minute.

'Turn the Page' is set to well-placed drums, bass, and deliberate lead guitar chords opening a soundscape full of waves of keyboard. Masselink reaches again for the Steve Perry soaring vocal.

'Voices' closes the song with a powerful vocal assault from Masselink, at the opening. Then the guitars, bass, drums and those solid keys fill the soundscape. The pace races forward as the finale comes into earshot.

Where was this album last year?

I wish I had received it then. This was a great surprise to find in my review pack of CDs. One of the best albums I have received this year. Every track is full of great music and vocals. Glad Masselink won the band's debate when choosing vocalists. Great music set to an interesting storyline, with everything a fan could want in a debut album. I am sure you will be hearing from these guys again. Don't miss this fantastic start!

Track Listing:

1. Father Son
2. God Machines
3. My Warning
4. Casualties of War
5. Man to Be
6. It's Over
7. I Am
8. Killing Me
9. 11.26.2042
10. Turn the Page
11. Voices

Added: April 22nd 2013
Reviewer: Mark Johnson
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Hits: 2170
Language: english

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