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Twelfth Gate: Threshold of Revelation

I've had the luck to follow this band right from the beginning when they were still doing demos. With much dedicated work, they finally released their debut album Summoning in 2003, creating a great album of powerful traditional metal with occasional thrash riffs, angry vocals that have often been compared to Nevermore's Warrel Dane, complex arrangements, and sick drumming.

Fast forward three years and here is Twelfth Gate's second album, titled Threshold of Revelation. This album also sees second guitarist Jim Stopper from Oppressor adding his touch to the songs, rendering them fuller and all the more powerful. Threshold of Revelation is a much darker, heavier and technical album than its predecessor. Similarities to Nevermore are still there, but with a more refined sound this time around. Vocalist Scott Huffman's enunciation still recalls Warrel Dane on tracks like "Critical Elements" and "Delving Too Deep". Both songs boast loads of double bass drumming, thunderous rhythm guitar, highly melodic lead guitar work, and a dark, brooding tone. The last song "Come Alive" also features a great acoustic guitar intro with just Huffman's voice before the band delves into a thrashy piece, utilising rumbling bass and great harmonies, all wrapped with a powerful guitar interplay. "Human Swine" and the first track "Loyal" are both the most complex numbers, with distinct Control Denied guitar acrobatics, sick melodic twists, unexpected rhythm variations, and Tim Aymar-like screams. Actually I've always considered Scott Huffman to be a perfect mix of Tim Aymar and Warrel Dane with a slightly lower range. That said, if the song calls for it, Huffman will rip it up, belting out some of the most impressive falsettos you'll hear. The exotic lead guitars on both the album opener and the moody yet hard-hitting "Black Robe" are fantastic and lend them an extra layer of originality. However, my personal favourite song has got to be the overlooked "Inner Core", one of the darkest yet heaviest songs Twelfth Gate have written. Shifting from dark acoustic passages to grinding bass and guitar explosions, this is quite possibly the best song I've heard from them.

It's great to know Twelfth Gate are alive and kicking. Seeing how other bands like Enertia and Eden's Fall have escaped most metalheads, one can only hope that the guys in Twelfth Gate will get the attention they deserve with their new album.

Track Listing

  1. Loyal
  2. Critical Elements
  3. Inner Core
  4. Delving Too Deep
  5. Human Swine
  6. Black Robe
  7. Branded
  8. Together Divided
  9. Face Within A Face
  10. Come Alive

Added: May 30th 2006
Reviewer: Murat Batmaz
Related Link: Twelfth Gate website
Hits: 3961
Language: english

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» SoT Staff Roundtable Reviews:

Twelfth Gate: Threshold of Revelation
Posted by Michael Popke, SoT Staff Writer on 2006-05-30 10:57:38
My Score:

Like Murat, I've followed Chicago's Twelfth Gate since the demo days. In fact, my first exposure to the band was when it opened up a sold-out late-2002 gig for Symphony X and Blind Guardian at The Metro in Chicago. At the conclusion of my SoT review of the band's 2003 debut Summoning, I predicted that "Twelfth Gate's second album should be an absolute scorcher." Well, Threshold of Revelation certainly is that, searing your speakers with a heavier, darker and more aggressive brand of traditional progressive metal than the debut. The 10 songs here don't repeat themselves as much as they did on Summoning, and the record boasts one of the band's best performances with "Human Swine," featuring an uncharacteristically catchy yet complex melody and typically oppressive lyrics.

Raw, thick and raging, Twelfth Gate is now powered by a second guitarist (ex-Oppressor's Jim Stopper), but Scott Huffman, whose deep and evil vocals evolved radically between Summoning and Threshold of Revelation, recently left the band although he stayed with Twelfth Gate until replacement Brent "Red" Erickson could be secured. Early reports indicate that Erickson's style differs from Huffman's but that it fits the direction in which the band is heading. Here's hoping Album Number Three shows just as much progress as Threshold of Revelation.

2004 Sea Of Tranquility
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