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One man project by Marius Strand. It is a mixture of romantic, beautiful doom metal with similarities to Agalloch, Novembers Doom and Anathema<...
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Mystical Gate : In Sadness Gloom...



This album was recorded back in 1996 and was due for release on the Russian label Undead Wood Productions, who were the host of other similar bands such as Thy Repentence and Russian Winter. However the label went bankrupt before the album was released. It wasn't until eight years later, in October 2004, that a new label, Stygian Crypt Productions, saw the potential of the music and it finally saw the light of day.

The band themselves claim to play "mystic doom metal", but while the mystic part indeed correct, the doom metal part is something that I would hesitate to agree with. While the riffs often remind me of those often used by gothic/doom bands such as Autumn, the rhythm is light and much too "bouncy". The light mood of the music is rather atypical for doom metal as well. But for the music itself, this is a good thing. I seriously doubt that if this was made into doom metal (as we here on Doom-Metal.com "preach" it) the whole aura of the music would have been lost. Also, just like I'd hesistate to call this doom metal, I would also hesitate to claim that this has nothing to do with doom metal whatsoever. So if I had to categorise this then perhaps doomy gothic metal/rock would have been my choice?

But genres aside. The music itself can be slightly harsh at times because of the growled male vocals. But mostly it's rather light and warm, which sort of gives me a feeling of a garden or of nature in the summer. Both the sound and the image of the cover leads me to believe that the name Mystical Gate in this case means the entrance to some sort of secret garden or fairieland. At least the epic atmosphere that is present in just about all the tracks, does make me think of supernatural beings from a good place.

Perhaps the most noticable part of the music is the fact that they have to have a very good musical composer on the keyboards. I say this because the most captivating moments in the music are always created by the keyboards. The huge amount of flute synths are also very believable and realistic. But when taking that into consideration, please also remember this, the other musicians are also skilled, but not as dominant in the music.

This album would in all likelyhood not be interresting for fans of riffing metal or harsh metal in general. On the other hand this should be of huge interest to fans of beautiful gothic metal. In fact, I'm sure this one will impress many of them. I favour a lot of genres before gothic, but this one has to become a classic.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated

Information

Tracklist :
1. Intro
2. There're Stones Weeping Somewhere
3. Then Only Rain Can Hide My Tears
4. Long For The Sun...
5. Long For The Stars...
6. No Mirror Illusion Can Stop Making You Weak
7. Gloom
8. Fling The Doors Open Wide. Let Wind Go!

Duration : Approx. 63 minutes

Visit the Mystical Gate bandpage.

Reviewed on ??-??-2005 by Arnstein Petersen
No God Only Pain
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