By Mike Maher
Anubis Gate is a progressive metal band from Denmark. They are currently signed with Intromental Management and Locomotive Music. Andromeda Unchained is their third album and it is a masterpiece. Seriously, this album does not have one weak song! According to an interview with bassist Henrik Fevre on Progscan.com, Andromeda Unchained is a concept album which takes place in outer space, where there is a battle over a star, Andromeda, and the attempt to “unchain” it from those who possess it. This is the band’s third release, but they’ve moved in a much different direction from previous releases. First off, new vocalist Jacob Hansen (YEAH, the Hansen studios, premier metal producer and Invocator guy) takes the place of Torben Askholm, who left the band in 2005. The band has also incorporated more progressive elements into their songwriting, and they’ve done it surpassingly well. I was familiar with Anubis Gate’s debut album, Purification, but this release is miles and miles beyond that. Guitarists Kim Oleson and Jesper Jensen have created something special, with wonderful harmonies, time changes and some heavy riffs that flow perfectly with Morten Sorensen’s drumming. Hansen’s higher voice is an excellent fit for this more progressive album. This is another strong contender for album of the year.
The album features some intro and interlude tracks to set the atmosphere for the story, so I will skip over those melodic appetizers and get right to the main course. Hansen sounds great on the entire album, but you really get nailed by his work on the first song “Snowbound.” It sets up the mood perfectly and the band gives us a hint of what we’re in for. “Waking Hour” is one of the best tracks on the disc, with some excellent guitar work and key solos. “Andromeda Unchained” features some prominent drumming and another great keyboard solo. “Resurrection Time” features some shreddy guitar, more great keyboards, and the chorus is just excellent. “This White Storm Through My Mind” is another top song, with Oleson and Jensen playing some beautiful stuff. “The Final Overture” is the band’s MySpace single, so to say. Chock full of rocking guitars, this song is a perfect (Internet) radio song. “Take Me Home” is a beautiful ballad type song. Now, I’ve already said how great the earlier tracks are, but Anubis Gate closes the album with the two strongest songs, “Point of No Concern” which is so melodic that my head is about to explode, and “The End of Millennium Road” which is the album’s epic song at 9 minutes. I am usually the guy who picks out the guitar sounds, but I loved the keyboards and drum/bass section on this album. The entire band really shines, and Hansen reminds me of Mikkel Sandager (of the progressive death metal band Mercenary), singing in a more prog-oriented metal band.Again, this album is a masterpiece, probably the album that most bands wish they could write. I highly recommend it.
For more info and song samples, go to http://www.anubisgate.com