ANUBIS GATE

Progressive Metal • Denmark
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Anubis Gate is a progressive metal band originating from Aalborg, Denmark, formed in 2001 by Jesper M. Jensen (guitars, bass, keyboards) and Morten Sørensen (drums). They recorded a demo between the two of them but needed more members for a full band. Torben Askholm joined the band as a vocalist in 2003 and the group recorded their debut album Purification, which was released in 2004. On this album the band was helped out by Kim Olesen (guitars) and Henrik Fevre (additional vocals/lyrical contributions). Both of these musicians were added to the Anubis Gate line-up full time in 2005, with Fevre taking over bass duties from Jensen. Also contributing to the album was Jacob Hansen, both as a producer and guest musician. Hansen was an ex-band mate of Jensen’s, as they had both played in the thrash metal band Invocator together. Coincidently all the members of Anubis Gate bar Askholm had read more...
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ANUBIS GATE Discography

ANUBIS GATE albums / top albums

ANUBIS GATE Purification album cover 3.49 | 16 ratings
Purification
Progressive Metal 2004
ANUBIS GATE A Perfect Forever album cover 4.16 | 16 ratings
A Perfect Forever
Progressive Metal 2005
ANUBIS GATE Andromeda Unchained album cover 4.28 | 42 ratings
Andromeda Unchained
Progressive Metal 2007
ANUBIS GATE The Detached album cover 4.41 | 36 ratings
The Detached
Progressive Metal 2009
ANUBIS GATE Anubis Gate album cover 4.11 | 37 ratings
Anubis Gate
Progressive Metal 2011
ANUBIS GATE Horizons album cover 4.59 | 22 ratings
Horizons
Progressive Metal 2014
ANUBIS GATE Covered in Black album cover 4.42 | 11 ratings
Covered in Black
Progressive Metal 2017
ANUBIS GATE Covered in Colours album cover 4.50 | 2 ratings
Covered in Colours
Progressive Metal 2020

ANUBIS GATE EPs & splits

ANUBIS GATE Sheep album cover 3.99 | 8 ratings
Sheep
Progressive Metal 2013

ANUBIS GATE live albums

ANUBIS GATE demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

ANUBIS GATE Live at The Rock 2005 album cover 4.25 | 2 ratings
Live at The Rock 2005
Progressive Metal 2014

ANUBIS GATE re-issues & compilations

ANUBIS GATE Orbits album cover 4.75 | 2 ratings
Orbits
Progressive Metal 2016

ANUBIS GATE singles (1)

.. Album Cover
0.00 | 0 ratings
Golden Days
Progressive Metal 2011

ANUBIS GATE movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)

ANUBIS GATE Reviews

ANUBIS GATE Covered in Colours

Album · 2020 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
For their eighth studio album, Danish progressive metal act Anubis Gate have opted to produce something that is both a counterpart to their previous album Covered in Black (2017) by titling it Covered in Colours (2020) as well as something completely different in their discography: a covers album. The fourteen track, seventy-three minute long album has the band taking on songs originally by a diverse range of artists, from King Crimson to AC/DC, Steely Dan to Slayer via Ozzy Osbourne, Coldplay and Mike Oldfield.

Covers albums by their very nature are never in the running for being an artist's essential work and that's certainly also the case with Covered in Colours. With that said, as far as metal bands doing covers albums go, Anubis Gate have produced a pretty fine one that will actually manage to surprise not only long-time fans of their own music but especially from the wider metal crowd, with the way they interpret the actual metal/hard rock songs they've covered. This is most evident with their version of Aggressive Perfector by Slayer. You'd expect a song by Slayer to be among the heaviest cuts on the album. It's actually among the lightest.

Generally speaking though, Anubis Gate has adapted this set of songs to their own progressive metal style, regardless of what genre of music a track came from originally. The Slayer situation feels like they went that way to counter expectations. Mostly this feels and sounds like the last few Anubis Gate albums, though there is a slight edge that betrays that the songs are actually the work of other creative minds no matter how different Anubis Gate has made their versions from the originals. The thing to note about that though is that only those who listen to Anubis Gate a lot and know their work really well may pick that up without the bias of knowing in advance that they are listening to covers.

The main instance of when Covered in Colours doesn't sound too like Anubis Gate is during Voivod's Experiment, which features some harsher vocals than this band typically uses (not quite growls though), which are performed by guitarist Kim Olesen instead of the band's regular singer Henrik Fevre. It's the one and only song where, despite the variety of original artists, that it feels like it's jarring to the flow of the album, which otherwise is bad to work really well by the band. Choice cuts for this reviewer are their takes on Chromazone (Mike Stern), Glamour Profession (Steely Dan), To France (Mike Oldfield), Fade to Grey (Visage), Back In Black (AC/DC) and Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles).

People who like Anubis Gate already will of course be the primary audience for Covered in Colours, but the album should also hold interest to people who enjoy hearing songs originally not by metal bands get a heavy treatment. The few songs on here I'd heard before tend toward the being very different takes, except Oldfield's To France. Though full disclaimer, I don't recall ever actually hearing his version. To France seems to be semi-popular cover choice amongst metal bands. Anubis Gate's is the third version I've heard of it, after Blind Guardian and Leaves' Eyes (Kingfisher Sky has also done it). But why not? It's a very good, memorable song and since all three versions I have heard sound somewhat similar in structure, I don't think its been altered too much. The likes of Slayer and AC/DC though, are definitely a far cry from the songs you know.

And that's a good thing. Faithful covers after all tend to be boring, even pointless. You'll perhaps give them a curiosity listen and then return to the original. Anubis Gate have given you covers you'll instead have a reason to return to and in Covered in Colours an album that fully deserves to be part of their main discography.

ANUBIS GATE Purification

Album · 2004 · Progressive Metal
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siLLy puPPy
One of the many bands over the decades to evoke the Egyptian god ANUBIS, the god of death, mummification, the afterlife, tombs and all things underworld in ancient Egypt, ANUBIS GATE officially formed in Aalborg, Denmark in 2003 although many members from the original lineup were working together on various musical projects as far back as the 1980s and a direct lineage of a band called Graff Spree. After many changes the first ANUBIS GATE lineup for its debut album PURIFICATION featured only three permanent members: Torbin Askholm (vocals), Jesper Jensen (guitars, bass, synthesizers) and Morten Sørensen (drums). Three additional sessions musicians would add more guitars, synthesizers and vocals. This would be only the first of two albums that featured Askholm on vocals before Jacob Hansen (who also sings lead in Invocator.)

During these early years of the band’s existence ANUBIS GATE created its own style of progressively infused power metal with nods to the classic 1980s heavy metal style. Given the style the band would become known for, PURIFICATION is somewhat of the odd album out of the band’s discography. The ten tracks on board feature a bizarre mix of heavy metal, power metal, progressive rock and even a bit of doom metal. The noticeable difference is that on PURIFICATION there are more slow plodding moments which is usually not the case in anything remotely considered power metal. At this point the power part of the equation was quite tamped down and the compositions were darker with less energetic outbursts. The keyboards are less pronounced than later works serving only as an atmospheric enhancer for the most part.

On this debut it’s obvious that ANUBIS GATE was following in the footsteps of the pioneers of progressively minded heavy metal bands like Queensryche, Savage, Crimson Glory and even aspects of Iron Maiden for that matter however the band’s first vocalist Torbin Askholm probably sounds most similar to Psychotiz Waltz’ Buddy Lackey. The musical compositions though while sharing a lineage with the aforementioned bands was successful at sounding distinct even as far back as this debut release however the first two ANUBIS GATE albums are often overlooked in favor of the albums with Hansen on vocals which also found the band upping its game in terms of creativity and songwriting skills.

Personally i find this one a difficult one to swallow. On paper everything is executed as planned with excellent instrumental workouts, brilliant vocals with a wide range and subject matter that is the cream of the crop for a progressive metal band in the 21st century. What’s missing from this debut are memorable compositions that really sink in. The creative mojo wasn’t firing on all pistons quite yet and the weakness of the album is that the tracks pretty much all sound too similar without enough distinct personality to bring them to life. With power metal it’s pretty much mandatory to craft super catchy hooks but the ones provided on PURIFICATION just seem a bit lackluster which sound even worse given the top notch performances.

Of course every band can’t hit a home run first time out of the GATE, even the ones guarded by ANUBIS but it wouldn’t have taken too much tweaking of the songwriting to make these tracks stand out more. Overall this is indeed a decent album but it seems to lack the most vital elements that make a progressive power metal band really stand out amongst the competition and unfortunately the album offers very little in return visits. Luckily ANUBIS GATE would soon reinvent themselves with a new singer and become one of Denmark’s most famous metal exports but as far as this debut is concerned, they hadn’t quite gotten there yet.

ANUBIS GATE Covered in Black

Album · 2017 · Progressive Metal
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adg211288
Well look what we have here, they finally managed it. Managed what you say? The Danish progressive metal act Anubis Gate finally managed to go more than two albums without changing lead vocalist, which was the trend across their first six albums. It shouldn't really be a surprise though, it was obvious ever since bassist Henrik Fevre took on the role for the self-titled Anubis Gate (2011) album that, despite two great vocalists going through their ranks before him, the band were finally how they were always meant to be. Further line-up changes on their next album Horizons (2014) that left the band technically having no original members were a surprise but ultimately did little to stop that from being true. It's been a few years since that album but the four piece are now back with their seventh effort Covered in Black (2017), featuring the same line-up as Horizons: Henrik Fevre on vocals and bass, Kim Olesen and Michael Bodin on guitars (also keyboards for the former) and Morten Gade Sørensen on drums. As usual the album was produced by Kim Olesen with the band's former vocalist Jacob Hansen.

Covered in Black represents Anubis Gate's attempt to create a darker album than their usual output. A theme record opposed to a true concept album like some of their past releases (Andromeda Unchained (2007) and The Detached (2009)), some songs are nonetheless tied together into mini-conceptual arcs, the most obvious of these being the 'Black Trilogy' consisting of tracks 6-8, Black, Blacker and Blackest. According to the liner notes for the first part it is a true story. The tracks The New Delhi Assassination, The Combat and Operation Cairo (tracks 2, 3 and 9) are also part of a linked storyline, with the first and last parts being tied musically as well as lyrically, also featuring melodies tailored to allude to their settings. The remaining tracks appear to be stand alone, dealing with themes such as mental illness (Psychotopia) and being too stuck in the past to live in the now (A Journey to Nowhere). The final song however, From Afar, appears to close the album on a more hopeful note, a reminder that even when you're at your lowest, things can get better.

Dark themes and metal music have gone hand in hand for a long time, but Anubis Gate isn't the kind of band I expected to intentionally make an album embracing such themes given how their music sounds. Though firmly in the metal side of prog (opposed to being progressive rock) their music is based near entirely on melody over aggression (though they can certainly be heavy when they want to be) and they've long favoured a polished production that's right up in the power metal levels. They make accessible music, as far as both prog and metal go. The band has a sound that I'd describe as bright and vibrant, a complete contrast to the moods that Covered in Black is written to portray. Does this mean that the band have embraced the gloomier metal genres like gothic or doom metal? Are the vocals harsher? Are they using extreme metal elements to make things seem more grim?

Well, the answer is no, no and no again. And I have the utmost respect for Anubis Gate for that. A lesser band would have done something cliché to ram home the point they were trying to make, but not these guys, who've stayed true to the sound that they've been making their own ever since the Purification (2004) debut. Not to say that said sound isn't a little bit different this time around; the touches of power metal and symphonic elements that they've used in the past have been all but completely stripped away, but their base melodic progressive metal style has been left very much intact and if anything is more focussed on being progressive than ever. Anubis Gate has never been as complex as say, Dream Theater at their most technical, but they've certainly had the craft of being subtly progressive worked out long ago and are certainly more deserving of the distinction than many artists that get saddled with the prog tag. On Covered in Black though the progressiveness seems a bit more overt, much like the case with The Detached album. The faster power metal fuelled parts as used in tracks like the previous album's Revolution Come Undone are an absence that is felt a little bit, but not for long, as it doesn't take many listens to get into the album and for the songs to start asserting themselves as being as good as anything the band has ever done.

There are highlights of course. I find myself particularly drawn to Psychotopia and the linked The New Delhi Assassination and Operation Cairo, along with closer From Afar. The thing that makes Anubis Gate albums special though is that each song is able to assert its own identity after only a small amount of listens and that's mostly true here too. That does bring me to the one quibble to be had over Covered in Black though; it's that the Black Trilogy may have worked a bit better as one continuous progressive metal epic than the three separated and unimaginatively named individual parts it ended up as. It also seems like it's begging for a more epic conclusion in the Blackest part than is delivered. With that said, I would count the initial Black part among this album's highlights. The other two parts are also decent but do tend to stand out more as a continuation of Black than as separate songs, hence my opinion. A bit of tweaking into one track and it may have even been 'the' highlight of the album for me. As quibbles go I'd say that's relatively minor, certainly not something that harms my listening experience. Otherwise the band just continually manages to impress, delivering another album that I can give many repeat spins without getting tired of it. Anubis Gate are the kind of band where if I play one of their albums, I'll likely end up going through their entire back catalogue again, a desire no less inspired by Covered in Black. Deciding where this album fits into a ranked list of their discography isn't easy though. The Detached is definitely a top 10 of all time album for me, so that's always number one, but the others except perhaps Purification, which I'd say is a classic example of a 'finding their sound' album, all have a claim on second place. I believe they are actually the only band who I've given four consecutive five star ratings to in my reviews and I see little reason not to make that five for Covered in Black.

I know the sceptical out there will question that simply because no band can be that good right? I'm sure there's a few reading this review and thinking 'He's obviously a fan. He's bias!' and they'd be half right. I am a fan of Anubis Gate. I'm proud to say that. Does that make me bias? I don't think so. No reviewer can ever do anything but give their own opinion on album, something which I find is often sadly misunderstood. That said I've given Covered in Black far more listens than is normal for my reviews to make sure I can give it the most objective appraisal that I can and even genuinely tried to find a reason to pick holes in it and come up short. I will say that I've found it to be a bit less immediate than some of their other releases but over half a dozen listens later it continues to open up and grow in my estimations. Despite its dark theme it's an album that can't help but put a smile on my face. It's new Anubis Gate music after all, and the world could always use more of that. The album may be called Covered in Black, but it's made of gold.

ANUBIS GATE Sheep

EP · 2013 · Progressive Metal
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FMOTP
I don't know much of Anubis Gate's music, so I can't really compare Sheep to the band's other releases. I have listened to The Detached a few times. I have spent a lot of time listening to this EP, and I'm definitely impressed. It was enough for me to seek out the band's other music. I find the choice of cover songs very interesting. I think Pink Floyd reached their peak about the time of Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, and started to go downhill when Roger Waters started gaining too much control. However, I really like this version of "Sheep".

How many bands, including progressive metal bands, would choose to cover Mister Mister's "Broken Wings"? It's a song I've always liked. Anubis Gate does what a band should do when they're making a cover version. They change the song enough to make it an interesting alternative to the originals. I'm not going to discuss the musicians here; I'll just say that they're talented gentlemen who know what they're doing. In terms of performance, my favorite part of this EP is Henrik Fevre's voice. He has a terrific tenor voice. Over all, this is an excellent CD, and a good introduction to the band.

ANUBIS GATE Horizons

Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal
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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.

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Unitron wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Purification is my favorite by this band, I've honestly never enjoyed 'Andromeda Unchained' :P
666sharon666 wrote:
more than 2 years ago
Not the biggest fan of the debut Purification, but from A Perfect Forever onwards I'm begnning to think these guys can do no wrong.

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