Walking a fine line between Alice In Chains and Down is Floodgate's only release Penalty, recorded back in 1995 and now remastered by Metal Mind Productions. Singer/guitarist Kyle Thomas was formely of the thrash band Exhorder, and when he appeared with the rest of Floodgate on this one, many a fan were surprised at the doomy, Southern sludge contained within these grooves, which was quite different from what his former band delivered. Ironically, Floodgate are also from the New Orleans area (and the album was recorded there as well) making the Down similarity all the more relevant. In fact, both debut albums from both bands came out right about the same time in 1995 (Floodgate's was officially released on Roadrunner in early 1996). Chances are if you dig Down, Alice In Chains, Trouble, Crowbar, or CoC, you will most certainly feel right at home with the thick, muscular riffs and Sabbath-like stomp contained on Penalty. There's plenty of herculean riffery going on during tracks like "Shivering", "Before The Line Divides", "Those Days", "Till My Soil", "Running With the Sodden Legs" (how's that for a song title?), and the down and dirty dirge "Imitation Salvation". Best track though is perhaps the closing psychedelic brontosaurus bruiser "Black With Sin", a real doomy slice of stoner metal featuring some irresistibly sludgey riffs from Thomas and Steven Fisher. Kyle's vocals throughout are pretty damn good, occupying a space somewhere between Layne Staley, Eric Wagner, Phil Anselmo, and Ozzy, but with a slight bluesy edge.
This reissue package comes with complete lyrics, an informative essay about the band, and a few bonus tracks. Word is that the band never officially broke up, but have been on hiatus on and off for more times than you can count, so the chances of new music or live shows is quite a possibility.
2. Through My Days into My Nights
3. Before the Line Divides
4. Those Days
5. Till My Soil
7. Second Guesser
8. Running With Sodden Legs
9. Imitation Salvation
10. Feel You Burn
11. Black With Sin
12. Demond Come-bonus track
13. Those Days-bonus track
14. The Sublime and the Hollow-bonus track
15. Imitation Salvation-bonus track