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Anubis Gate - Andromeda Unchained CD (album) cover

ANDROMEDA UNCHAINED

Anubis Gate

 

Progressive Metal

3.87 | 101 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

UMUR
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Andromeda Unchained is the third full-length studio album by Danish progressive power metal act Anubis Gate. I found both the debut album Purification (2004) and the second album A Perfect Forever (2005) by Anubis Gate to be enjoyable progressive power metal releases but they didnīt really make my blood boil and they didnīt stick out from the hundreds ( or probably thousands) of other solid yet pretty standard releases in the genre. Much has changed since the release of A Perfect Forever though. Lead vocalist Torben Askholm left Anubis Gate after the release of that album and prolific Danish metal producer and musician Jacob Hansen has joined the band as the new lead singer. The inclusion of Jacob Hansen to the lineup has really injected new blood to the bandīs sound and as a consequence brought a much needed identity to their progressive power metal style. Iīve followed Jacob Hansenīs musical career from the early demo days with his death/ thrash act Invocator and that actīs ensuing album releases, his death metal adventure Maceration ( which also included Dan Swanö), his involvement with the Danish metal acts Eidetic and Beyond Twilight and his many professional metal productions for other artists ( including the first two albums by Anubis Gate). His involvement with Anubis Gate also include co- songwriting credits and while his his vocal contributions are a considerable improvement in the sound of Anubis Gate, the co-songwriting part is probably even more important.

The bandīs improvement isnīt only due to the addition of Jacob Hansen as the rest of the band are really well playing too and the compositional ideas just seem to have gotten much better since A Perfect Forever. Andromeda Unchained is a sci-fi themed concept album with 15 tracks and a 70:12 minutes long playing time. While there are no weak tracks on the album I still think 70 minutes is too long for an album. Itīs a minor complaint though. As mentioned there are no weak tracks on Andromeda Unchained but a few stand out as being of especially high quality. The opening track Snowbound ( after a short intro) is a really strong track. The kind of song that will stick in your mind long after the album ends. A hit if you will. The progressive pearl This White Storm Through My Mind and the strong power ballad track Take Me Home are also worth giving a special mention.

The music style on the album is not your usual speed-paced double bass pedal euro power metal, but rather a sophisticated, clever and heavy power metal style with progressive elements. While the pace might not be very fast most of the time the music is certainly powerful anyway. Lots of heavy guitar riffs but also lots of melodic ones too and some great solos. The rythm section are tight and play with great variation. There are lots of synth on the album which has to be mentioned here too. A vital part of the bandīs sound. The vocals are clean and mostly high pitched. Actually when Jacob Hansen sings his most high pitched parts he sounds a lot like James Labrie ( Dream Theater). Knowing how Jacob Hansen sounded when he was the lead vocalist in Invocator Iīm more than impressed with his performance here. Who would have thought that the man could sing power metal with style? The music on the album also made me think of the most melodic parts of the music by fellow Danish metal act Mercenary.

The production, which is courtesy of Jacob Hansen and guitarist/ keyboardist/ composer Kim Olesen, is very powerful and suits the music perfectly. I forsee that some will find the sound a bit too polished and I would understand their opinion but I enjoy the sound.

Andromeda Unchained have been a great surprise for me. I really think Anubis Gate have stepped up a level with this album and I find it highly recommendable to fans of the genre. A 4 star rating is fully deserved.

UMUR | 4/5 |

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