ANUBIS GATE — Horizons

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ANUBIS GATE - Horizons cover
4.56 | 21 ratings | 4 reviews
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Album · 2014

Tracklist

1. Destined to Remember (6:02)
2. Never Like This (A Dream) (4:08)
3. Hear My Call! (6:23)
4. Airways (6:50)
5. Revolution Come Undone (5:28)
6. Breach of Faith (7:20)
7. Mindlessness (6:32)
8. Horizons (4:48)
9. A Dream Within a Dream (14:09)
10. Erasure (3:32)

Total Time: 65:12

Line-up/Musicians

- Henrik Fevre / Vocals, Bass, Additional Guitars, Additional Keyboards
- Kim Olesen / Guitars, Keyboards
- Michael Bodin / Guitars
- Morten Gade Sørensen / Drums

Guest/Session Musicians:

- Jesper M. Jensen / Guitars (#9)

About this release

Release date: April 15th 2014
Label: Nightmare Records

Includes CD-ROM bonus content Live at the Rock 2005: http://www.metalmusicarchives.com/album/anubis-gate/live-at-the-rock-2005(other)

Available in high resolution at http://www.hdtracks.com/anubis-gate-horizons

Thanks to adg211288 for the addition and diamondblack for the updates

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ANUBIS GATE HORIZONS reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

666sharon666
Anubis Gate's sixth album Horizons sees them losing the last of their original members, Jesper M. Jensen and Morten Sørensen. Rather that spell the end of the band they've continued on with new members Michael Bodin and Morten Gade Sørensen and the change doesn't seem to have fazed their vision in any way, in fact I see this as a step back up from their self-titled from 2011.

Whereas I felt that the self-titled didn't break the band any new ground, the only real difference being a vocalist change from Jacob Hansen to Henrik Fevre, Horizons sees the band progressing again. This is, in my opinion, a more atmospheric release from Anubis Gate, featuring some progressive rock elements and a reduction in symphonic stuff, though that still has a presence in the sound. They prove that they're quite capable of producing some intense power metal based stuff too though, such as the song Revolution Come Undone which numbers amongst their heaviest songs. With A Dream Within a Dream they've also produced their longest and one of their best songs. Overall, Horizons is my third favourite by the band.
Time Signature
Destined to progress...

Genre: progressive metal

Having released three very strong albums in a row, in the form of "Andromeda Unchained", "The Detached", and "Anubis Gate", the Danish progressive metal band's most recent, and eagerly awaited, album "Horizons" definitely has a lot to live up to. With no less than two line-up changes since "Anubis Gate", one might even be slightly worried that the new album may be sub par to its predecessors.

While I think that the previous three albums are slightly stronger than this one in some respects, there are some new elements on "Horizons" - probably adopted by the band as a consequence of the inspirations brought by the two new members - which I think enrich Anubis Gate's already interesting style of music. Firstly, I think that "Horizons" is musically the most varied album by the Danish band, as it explores both melodic pathways and heavier grooves. The rhythm guitar has become slightly more aggressive, which I appreciate, while the use of keyboards has become more prominent, which works very well here. Morten Gade Sørensen's drumming is both considerably technical and dynamic, yet also potent.

'Destined to Remember', which listeners might already be familiar with because an alternate version appeared in the "Sheep" EP, is a melodic and multi-layered progressive metal track, rich in layers of melody. The multi-layeredness (if such a word exists) also characterizes 'Never Like This (A Dream)' which also features some fierce neo-power metal riffage. 'Hear My Call' is heavier and builds on groovy riffs, and 'Revolution Come Undone' ventures into both power-thrash territory. 'Mindless' features some pretty cool guitar melodies and some slightly dissonant quirky guitar figures, which is something I've never heard from Anubis Gate before.

Needless to say, the level of musicianship on this album is impeccable, as is the songwriting, and Henrik Fevre's singing voice has a strange haunting quality, as it almost flows on top of the music. As mentioned, the use of keyboards is quite prominent on this album, and I don't know if Anubis Gate are Depeche Mode fans, but there are several aspects of the keyboards that remind me of the melancholic atmosphere that the British electro-pop act excel at generating. This is a complement, by the way, as I am a fan of Depeche Mode myself.

Fans of melodic metal and should definitely check out this fine album by one of Denmark's best progressive metal bands.
adg211288
Horizons (2014) is the sixth full-length album by Danish progressive metal act Anubis Gate. The time between albums has been a bit different for the band this time around, not only that the gap between Horizons and its predecessor Anubis Gate (2011) has been the longest gap between their releases so far but the band also had some major changes in their line-up with founding members Jesper M. Jensen (guitars) and Morten Sørensen (drums) both departing the ranks in 2012. This left the band with no original members who were officially part of the band on their debut album Purification (2004), although both Henrik Fevre (bass, vocals) and Kim Olesen (guitars), who formally joined the band in 2005, were guests on that album. The new members of the group are Michael Bodin (guitars) and Morten Gade Sørensen (drums). This line-up of the band made its debut with a free EP, Sheep (2013), which contained one song from Horizons (albeit it a different cut) and two cover songs. Horizons however is where the new line-up will really be put to the test, given that Anubis Gate's last three albums are all deserving of the accolade of progressive metal masterpiece as far as I'm concerned. The band are however joined by former guitarist Jesper M. Jensen on the epic length A Dream Within a Dream and he still has many writing credits to his name on the album, while other songs see Michael Bodin's first contributions for the band.

Before I go on with the review proper, I want to take the time to point out that CD versions of Horizons will come with some extra CD-ROM content, namely a bonus live EP, Live at the Rock 2005. These recordings were done in the time between original vocalist Torben Askholm leaving the band and the joining of his replacement Jacob Hansen. Henrik Fevre was the vocalist for these recordings, several years before the release of Anubis Gate where he made his proper debut as the lead singer of the band. There has never actually been a live Anubis Gate release before, so for those interested in that sort of thing the CD version will definitely be worth a pick-up over a digital copy. But aside from that it is also nice to hear Henrik Fevre singing the old songs. In fact he sings them so well it is actually surprising, much as I also enjoy Jacob Hansen as Anubis Gate's vocalist, that Henrik Fevre did not become the lead singer permanently for Andromeda Unchained (2007).

Horizons kicks off with the very same song that appeared on Sheep, namely Destined to Remember. The major difference of course is that the album version is a bit longer with a 6:02 running time next to the 4:58 of the earlier version. The extra time is used effectively to add more instrumental sections to the track. It was a good song when it appeared on Sheep. It is a great song now. I'd say that there is a stronger power metal element to it too, something which is a recurring thing throughout Horizons, so in that sense the album harkens back a bit more to The Detached (2009) rather than Anubis Gate, while still building on the same melodic principles of the self-titled. Tracks like Revolution Come Undone represent Anubis Gate at the most power metal based they've been for a while now.

Compared to Anubis Gate I do detect a bit of a rougher edge to the guitar riffs this time around, possibly an influence from new man Michael Bodin. The increased amount of faster paced power metal sections gives Horizons a familiar yet different vibe to the previous album. It's been clear to me for a while that Anubis Gate are an act that have found and perfected their sound though, so it's not a problem that their releases don't vary the formula too much. Aside from the stronger power metal aspect Anubis Gate have also upped the melodic atmospheric side to their music on the album so while it's still pretty heavy it parts you'll also find more lulling sections.

These differences are of course the sort of thing one notices with a band they listen to a lot. Where Anubis Gate are concerned that most certainly means me. There is of course a more obvious example of their continued efforts to grow on Horizons though and that of course is the song A Dream Within a Dream (which is based on the movie Inception). It is the longest Anubis Gate track to date at 14:09. As a progressive metal act they've never been one for tracks crossing the ten minute barrier, only doing it twice before. Rather than being a full blown progressive metal epic though, the track takes more a focus on the atmospheric side of the album for most of its first half before introducing more riff-orientated playing which gradually builds up to a symphonic conclusion. While I won't go as far to say it's the best thing they've ever done, it's up there far enough to get more than a passing mention in this review, while songs like Hear My Call!, Airways and Never Like This (A Dream) (based on The Matrix) also deserve specific mentions.

The ultimate question though is whether the music on Horizons stands up to the excellence on their previous releases, which I've rated consistently high. At first I thought the answer was no, albeit a very near miss. It's always been clear to me that Anubis Gate are still riding a pretty high wave of inspiration as of this album. Even a lesser album from them is better than most that come out of the genre and they've already achieved so much despite being sadly largely unsung for it. Turns out though that Horizons isn't a lesser album at all, just a (slow) grower, which is why I've had to go back and update this review; I experienced that awkward moment where a reviewer realises that they sold something short. That may seem weird to say when I still scored the album at 4.5 stars, which is of course much more than a respectable score to give any release. It did seem at first to fall just short of my top tier boundary and that's what made all the difference and why I had to revisit this review; it's clear that given a bit of extra time Horizons is also top tier. Moreover it's actually a stronger release than the self-titled, a release that has proved to be the reverse of my experience with Horizons, in that my opinion has very slightly lowered with further experience. That's a story for a different review edit though. I may have got Horizons wrong the first time, but especially since replacing my promo copy with the proper CD it's become clear to be that this is Anubis Gate second best album. 5 Stars.

Members reviews

Dougie
'Destined to Remember' starts the show off with a familiar edge for any of those that have been following the band's releases until now. In 2013, the band released a free digital EP whose centerpiece was an amped up version of Pink Floyd's 'Sheep'. This version of 'Destined to Remember' is a little different to what we were dealt up on the freebie, however in a more enjoyable way to these picky ears.

The band touch on some great melodic heights and have some beautiful ear candy that helps keep the album fresh compared to their corollaries with some lush acoustic sections that remain fresh at all times. The production team of Kim Olesen and Jacob Hansen is strong and commanding with a reasonable amount of dynamics. I initially became aware of their work on label leader Lance King's 2011 'A Moment in Chiros'. I was thoroughly impressed and the depth of the soundstage and the ethereal layers which are omnipresent on this album, although unfortunately not as well executed.

The band's performances shine on all tracks with a particular highlight to the intriguing keyboard layers. I do feel as though I want to like the sound more than I do as I feel especially vocalist/bassist Henrik Fevre's vocal is honest and competent but something about it just does not grab me which is confronting as I feel much of the instrumentation grabs me in a visceral way in many moments scattered across the album but it's few and far between that I feel the whole band explodes with groundshaking importance in a way that I always look for in releases. It's actually hard for me to believe the difference it makes when Henrik is singing softer sections as opposed to the more traditional metal vocals. He is really on the money and we definitely hear that in the 14 minute monster 'Dream Within a Dream' and the closing track which shows a vulnerable and tender side and is both a puzzling and satisfying closure to the album.

Progressive Music in general has many a promising release scheduled for this year and 'Horizons' is no exception to the mega-hyped anticipation that many prospering bands have been seeing such as Opeth and Teramaze. In some ways perhaps the hype had artificially raised my expectations of the release, and I have to admit I have not been the greatest follower of Anubis Gate's previous output with the exception of 'Andromeda Unchained' which I actually found to be a shining star of quality in the band's back catalogue. Horizons has caught my attention and changed some of my disposition towards the band, however I have to admit - I have not been fully captured. Whilst I see what many others are seeing in the band, the release does not connect me on the emotional level that I need to be completely transported to another dimension and height of auditory pleasure. A solid effort with some moments of greatness and some that don't quite hit the mark for me.

7.5/10.

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