I don’t know, what happened up there, but Denmark is virtually exploding with new and promising Metal bands of late. And when one is taken up by Intromental Management, that already shows that it indeed is a really talented one and ANUBIS GATE have exactly that, as well as a contract with Locomotive Music, which are continuously evolving into a big all-round label in Rock and Metal.
2001 guitarist/bassist/keyboarder Jesper M. Jensen and drummer Morten Sørensen ANUBIS GATE formed the band in Aalborg, the Danish Metal capital at the moment. Some of you might know Jesper still from Thrashers INVOCATOR, after which’s end he joined a Rap Metal band called GERONIMO, where he met Morten. As singer they recruited Torben Askholm (PROPHETS OF DOOM and NORTHERN EMPIRE) and finally they entered the famous Hansen Studios, which coincidentally belong to Jesper’s former band colleague (INVOCATOR) Jacob Hansen.
As influences they state bands such as QUEENSRYCHE, IRON MAIDEN, LORDBANE, CRIMSON GLORY, FATES WARNING and SAVATAGE, which we already get to hear on “Downward Spiral“ (“Hall Of Two Truths“ is the usual intro), definitely not the usual Power and Heavy Metal, but with a quite own atmosphere, which reminds me of a mix of CRIMSON GLORY, (old) TAD MOROSE and CANDLEMASS, rather sluggish and intense, absolutely not the usual uniformity of this style, also thanks to the rather unusual voice of Torben Askholm, who has a quite own timbre and reminds me a lot of a certain other singer, whose name just won’t come to me right now, of course…
The title track continues this certain mystic atmosphere, which reminds me a bit of early TAD MOROSE by the use of the keyboards. Oh, oh, oh, and now I just remembered the name of this singer: Marco Hietala, in his middle phase with TAROT! “In The Comfort Of Darkness“ has given me this insight, also very mystical, epic and dark, nicely different than most of their current genre colleagues and also the instrumental “Before Anubis“ with its added acoustic guitar has this very own atmosphere that oozes a comparably magic as the early TAD MOROSE had (without sounding like a copy of the Swedes, not that you misunderstand me mentioning this band name so often!), really good one! And with “The Shadow” they add another very intensive one.
The album is based on a concept, not just with the band name we get a certain Egyptian note, but also here and there in the melodies. Lyrically they deal with the fight with inner demons and the cleansing on a psychological level, while making clear that it is not a tight concept.
Unfortunately I only have a cardboard promo, so that I do not have the booklet, but the very moody cover shows the “Anubis Gate“, through which the jackal god of Egyptian mythology leads the mislead souls through the underworld into the realm of Osiris. If the rest can compete, then the visual side is up to par, concerning the production I only have to tell you the name Jacob Hansen, right? If not, then let me put down some of his references: ILLDOSPOSED, ANCIENT, FALCONER, MERCENARY, RAUNCHY and MANTICORA.
The songs all are on a pretty similar level, which to some might seem a bit monotonous after a while, but in my opinion this is exactly one of the advantages of “Purification”, as the guys have created a really dense album. Well, as usual it should be best to check out the material yourself, but the whole thing has my blessing! (Online May 27, 2004)