The Detached is the fourth studio album by Denmark’s Anubis Gate, released in 2009. It is the second album with Jacob Hansen (Invocator, Beyond Twilight et all) as the group’s lead singer and overall continues a trend of (at least in my opinion), a chain of albums that get increasingly better. But The Detached isn’t an album that is merely just better than its predecessor, which was the absolutely amazing Andromeda Unchained, it completely and utterly blows it out of the water!
The Detached shares many aspects with Andromeda Unchained. It features the same line-up of musicians, and is a concept album with a science fiction storyline. The story of The Detached is actually based on a story by a Martin Rauff with lyrics written by bass player Henrik Fevre, and the presence of explanations of what’s happening in the story in the album’s booklet makes it easy to follow (other bands really need to take note of this for their concept albums) along with the songs, making this an easy album to appreciate the story these guys wanted to tell (or re-tell in this case) through music.
And the music itself is beyond epic. The tracks of the album flow from one to the next with ease and as a whole it gives me the sense of it being one big song and for me this is definitely the best way to take this album – in one hit with no compromises. Of course, I have my favourites from the album that may get a standalone play every now and then, but this is definitely at its very best in a single sitting.
We open with the brief introduction track On The Detached, which moves straight into Find a Way (Or Make One). This track showcases well what The Detached is all about, heavy riffs, prominent synthesisers, great vocals and really epic chorus sections. From here on the album is a total powerhouse, delivering epic track after epic track. Progressive Metal and indeed metal in general doesn’t get better than this.
The synthesisers play a really important role in making The Detached the really special album that it is. They create a really great atmosphere of the kind that makes the album somehow feel very spacey. I’ve only ever heard one other album that has really pulled off this kind of sound and that is Sonic Pulsar’s Playing the Universe. The music really fits the mood of the story, which is something I rarely find with concept albums.
Literally every song here can be considered a highlight, intro and outro pieces aside. My personal favourites are Find a Way (Or Make One) with its really amazing chorus that the band makes sound different every time around, Dodecahedron with its really haunting vocal passages, Options - Going Nowhere, which is easily THE epic of the album, especially the ending instrumentation, and A Lifetime to Share, which like Find a Way... has one of the most epic chorus sections of the album.
Anubis Gate are guilty of one thing here, and that’s the use of the auto track The End. As it doesn’t clock in at even half a minute its presence here is pretty well pointless and I see no reason why these last few seconds of the album aren’t just a part of A Lifetime to Share is beyond me. Guilty definitely, but due to the quality of the album, they’re also quickly forgiven.
Overall The Detached is an album that has my jaw on the floor. It gets better with every listen. So epic is it that when fully immersed in its perfection it seems to go by so fast like anything truly good does and at its conclusion it leaves me wanting to play it again straight away. This is no mere masterpiece, this is one of the finest albums ever made.
(Review originally written for Heavy Metal Haven)