Fed by metal...
Genre: gothic death metal
Souldrainer's Heaven's Gate is Swedish melodic death metal that does not sound like Swedish melodic death metal.
Let me clarify, while from Sweden and while their music is death metal which is melodic, Souldrainer do not embrace the popular Gothenburg melodeath sound; they go their own way instead. The tracks are primarily performed at a solid heavy midtempo pace and, due to the use of atmospheric and at times lush keyboard arrangements on top of the metallic riffage, the sound of Heaven's Gate is more of a gothic death metal sound which at times sounds slightly inspired by Paradise Lost (just check the bridge of 'The Legacy'), and the title track even has a very epic feel to it (the title track is absolutely brilliant, by the way, because of its doomier tendencies).
This is not the most most varying music, but I actually think that the emphasis of repetition of relatively simple but often melancholic and haunting figures is deliberate, and it works quite well. Had the vocals been clean and melodic rather than harsh and growled, there might have been more variation on the album, as melodic vocals, of course, allow for melodic variability. However, the growls work pretty well, and there are a couple of songs in which the choruses are performed in clean vocals.
Heaven's Gate is definitely a pretty good melodic death metal album which draws on the aesthetics of gothic metal and whose epic melancholic feel should appeal to fans of gothic metal, doom metal and doom-death.
(review originally posted at seaoftranquility.org)