ANUBIS GATE — Horizons (review)

ANUBIS GATE — Horizons album cover Album · 2014 · Progressive Metal Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
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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