You don't get a much more typical name for a Metal band than SOULGATE'S DAWN really. It probably comes as no surprise then that the music they play is pretty generic too, the sort of Melodic Death Metal/Metalcore that bands like HEAVEN SHALL BURN and CALIBAN have really taken as their own. Unfortunately, with the exception of the just mentioned HEAVEN SHALL BURN, this genre is pretty much a boring and over saturated scene already.
So it is to SOULGATE'S DAWN credit then that “Messiah” is actually quite a fun and enjoyable release. Based upon sturdy foundations of chug chug riffs and often melodic and unfortunately unoriginal leads, “Messiah” nonetheless keeps itself going with only few moments of genuine boredom. The opening riffs of both “Distained Paradise” and “Burning On All Sides” are really memorable and catchy, bringing about the strengths of the genre to the forefront. The vocalist exhibits quite a vicious half growl/scream that other vocalists in the genre also employ, not too guttural and not too shrieky, he suits the music well, and hints of clean singing only enhance his performance more.
Unfortunately, while the aforementioned openings of the two best songs on the album are fun and catchy, they're just so typical and unsurprising. I swear I've heard the chorus of “Distained Paradise” on a hundred other records, and the breakdowns in the song are just as generic. While SOULGATE'S DAWN had me banging my head at points throughout, that doesn't stop me from labelling it as only a good example of a bland and boring scene.
(Online April 24, 2009)