A bit more than a year after the already very good debut “Purification“ Danish ANUBIS GATE are back already with their second effort “A Perfect Forever“ and even though the first album had not received too good reviews everywhere, the somewhat mystic, a bit proggy Metal of the Scandinavians had touched a soft spot in me (even though in retrospective rated a bit too high). How good that they hardly changed anything in the musical direction, but rather refined it.
For the debut I had drawn a comparison with a mix from CRIMSON GLORY, old TAD MOROSE and some CANDLEMASS, anno 2005 I can, in stead of CANDLEMASS and the at times a bit doomy touch of early Taddies, add the ingenious Norwegians of PAGAN’S MIND, which just furthers the already exquisite influences. The outstanding elements have stayed the same, though, above all the excellent voice of Torben Askholm, which still is outside the oft overused melody lines, and the dynamic song writing that makes the Danes stand out of the mass.
There is one difference compared to the debut, though, they have added a few bricks, which fits the songs pretty well, as they hold more variety nowadays. One of the highlights of the albums is the great ”Future Without Past“, which starts out with quiet acoustic guitars and then combines heavy riffing with mid-paced rhythm, yet always staying very atmospheric, with a great performance by Torben. Then I also have to point out the very good and unclichéd ballad “Curfew“, and the absolutely brilliant duo “Children Of The Pauper King“ and “Approaching Inner Circle“ (most probably THE highlight of the album), but also “The Wanton Blades Of Lust“ and “Epitome Of Delusion“ are great tracks.
Jacob Hansen once more has given the album a very powerful sound, which gives the songs the right framework. That the album is pretty close to the sounds of the Eighties, but with a “new” sound, just gives “A Perfect Forever” a quite own appeal, which should not go by fans of the mentioned bands unnoticed. (Online March 2, 2006)