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Anubis Gate - Horizons CD (album) cover


Anubis Gate


Progressive Metal

3.75 | 89 ratings

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Second Life Syndrome
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Progressive metal? I honestly am not so sure Anubis Gate's new album "Horizons" could be caged into such a small subgenre. This is my first real experience with the band, though I've heard individual tracks and the like. However, I was not expecting something so fresh, vibrant, and, simply put, fantastic.

Anubis Gate is a progressive metal band that bends the rules a bit. They don't resemble Dream Theater to my ears, and they don't succumb to showboating or endless riffing. Instead, Anubis Gate aims for something higher than what's been done in the past. The band has a unique sound, one that deserves more attention and that would certainly thrill many metalheads, as well as prog rock fans, too. Their sound revolves around layers of sound, of which metal is only a part. You see, on "Horizons", the band has created an album of superior dark guitars, incredible drumming and bass, beautiful keys, and powerful vocals that combine to create slick melodies, piercing electronic tones, technical expertise, and maturity beyond their years.

If I had to make comparisons, I would call this new album a cross between Circus Maximus and Subsignal. You see, the band mixes a big helping of pop into their sound, and achieves a similar sound to these two bands in that they write infectious melodies that contrast nicely to the virtuosity on display. You read that correctly---this metal band utilizes pop quite a bit. It's in their catchy choruses, their harmonies, and their general attitude on certain songs. That is not to say that "Horizons" is devoid of metal, though. Anubis Gate has a fresh sound to their riffing, and the structure, not the technicality, seems more calculating. They seem to set out with a certain idea in mind, and they pull it off flawlessly, without ever becoming pretentious.

The band leans, not on metallic instrumentals, but upon genuine melodies and superior songwriting. Indeed, one of the first things I noticed on "Horizons" was the incredibly catchy songs. And, yet, the structures are even more impressive, such as on my favorite track, "Dream Within a Dream". This longer track mixes a catchy chorus in the first half with an ethereal, almost psychedelic interlude that leads into some fantastic metal. You see, the band masterfully combines all their elements to the point where it all feels so organic and inspired.

Other tracks are equally impressive. "Never Like This" is infectious, but includes an amazing electronic break that never fails to impress. "Destined to Remember" is somewhat less catchy, but includes some wonderful drumming in the last half. And on and on the album goes, each song being fully enjoyable and supremely composed. Never overbearing, and always interesting, unlike much prog metal today. Other favorites include "Airways" and "Breach of Faith".

So, then, Anubis Gate has produced THE best metal album I've heard in 2014 thus far. They have crafted a balanced album full of truly interesting riffs, mesmerizing electronics, and catchy melodies. It's a wonderful combination that uses all the tools in the toolbox without ever using any of them as a crutch. From progheads to metalheads, I feel this album will appeal to everyone.

Second Life Syndrome | 4/5 |


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