If you've been following Sea of Tranquility for a few years, you've no doubt noticed the heaps of praise we've given Finnish traditional metal/prog act Mausoleum Gate, one of the rising stars of the Cruz Del Sur label in recent years, and their latest album Into a Dark Divinity, just might be the one to propel them to the next level. Once again channeling genre greats such as Deep Purple, Uriah Heep, Mercyful Fate, Iron Maiden, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Diamond Head, and Angel Witch, the band dip into their bag of '70s and '80s tricks here on Into a Dark Divinity, delivering a mighty album that will thrill any fan of proto-metal, classic prog, hard rock, and the NWOBHM.
The Hammond organ and Mellotron tones of the near 10-minute opener "Condemned to Darkness" combat some thunderous riffs and high pitched vocals, creating this swirly effect that collides prog and metal in fine fashion. Motorhead meets Blue Oyster Cult on the rampaging "Burn the Witches at Dawn", while the lengthy epic "Apophis" is pure doom, complete with crushing guitar riffs soaked in fuzz and wah-wah, with synths, Mellotron and organ fluttering in the background and the drums pounding. "Solomon's Key" is pure Uriah Heep worship, and gloriously done, heavy guitar and Hammond organ churning out one majestic riff after another and V.-P Varpula's vocals soaring to the heavens. If you would have told me this song was recorded in 1974, I wouldn't bat an eye for one second. "Horns" is an upbeat, galloping NWOBHM styled masher, with tasty riffing all around, Hammond, and wailing vocals, while the lengthy title track closes out the album with some prog-rock majesty, acoustic guitars giving way to piano, ominous Mellotron,searing electric guitar solos, and synthesizer, the band showing the world they've also studied their classic '70s King Crimson and Italian prog albums quite closely. Wild stuff to say the least.
While there's surely a lot to take in here and a wealth of styles and textures, Mausoleum Gate have done a stunning job blending classic metal, vintage progressive rock, folk, psych, and hard rock into an immediately enjoyable & satisfying stew pot of ideas. Thunderous in spots, majestic in others, Into a Dark Divinity delivers the crushing might that metal lovers crave and the majestic sophistication, atmosphere, and complexity that prog fans demand. It all adds up to another stellar release from this consistently impressive band-highly recommended!
See more about this release on our recent YouTube show!
1. Condemned to Darkness 09:24
2. Burn the Witches at Dawn 02:42
3. Apophis 10:42
4. Solomon's Key 04:08
5. Horns 03:44
6. Into a Dark Divinity 10:39