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Anubis Gate - Andromeda Unchained CD (album) cover

ANDROMEDA UNCHAINED

Anubis Gate

Progressive Metal


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b_olariu
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars As i said in previous review from A perfect forever that i'm looking forward to listen to the last release of the band Andromeda unchained, now is the time to put some thought about this last album of this danish band. This is the first review of this album, the rest 12 are only votes. My first impression is good but kinda the same with the previous one, in every way. Only thing that diffrences between these two records is the voice. On this album they have a new voice in person of Jacob Hansen, who also was the producer of the first 2 albums. The voice is ok for this kind of music, prog power metal, but i prefer the one from the previous album, more rough than this one. The music has some high and lows but asa a whole is ok, nothing really groundbreaking but not really bad either. The best pieces are Waking Hour and the longest piece The End of Millenium Road, the rest are just ok. The sound is very solid and fat, but after half the album you beggin to guess what is going on on the last part of the album, i mean the same formula on tracks, the same vocal parts, only the guitar riffs and solos are bit diffrent then on previous albums. So in conclusion is a good album, but nothing more, worth listen from time to time. 3 stars for Andromeda unchained like on A perfect forever. For fans of Beyond Twilight, Pagan's Mind
Report this review (#181010)
Posted Friday, August 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
progrules
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars I believe I just heard another masterpiece. That is if you are prog metal minded and like it pretty rough. Because that's what we are talking about here. Tight compositions and musicianship is the deal with this album. I must say this is my first encounter with this band and I heard them thanks to the streamtrack Snowbound which was already very impressive. Impressive enough to buy the album and I was very pleased to find out it wasn't actually a single stand out case with the streamtrack because when I played the whole album last week for the first time I was already blown away by the whole thing but as so often happens when you play it for the second time it can be really disappointing sometimes because of the high expectations. This time it isn't, it's at least as good as with the first listen and the strength lies in the second half of the album. From the 9th track (This white storm through my mind!) until the end it's a treat of the one fantastic song after the other.

The sound and the production are top notch, guitar solos are great and present all the time and the consistancy is surprising, there are hardly any fillers on this album. I mean, the second half is better and is worth the 5 stars totally but that doesn't mean the first 8 tracks are much less or disappointing. It's more that it gets better and better as the album goes on. What an achievement !

Eventhough I'm very frugal with my 5 starratings I can't be sparing this time. Due to the overall performance I can only give 5 for this. I hope they keep up the good work in the future and continue the musical road they took here.

Report this review (#181976)
Posted Sunday, September 7, 2008 | Review Permalink
jampa17
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Great and solid...

First, this was the first album that I've heard from then... and then I get A Perfect Forever... and what improve is Andromeda to that previous one.. the quality of the sound, the singer -more clean and accurate-, the production and everything... is great and just what prog metal needs to shine...

Second, There's a lot of soul, or at least, it gaves me a lot of emotion while I hear the album, you know, like you just want to close your eyes and travel with the subject of the album... so, for emotion or sensation, this is a great album... the technic is there, a lot of hard riffing, change of tempo and metrics but the soul is in the melodies... feels great...!!!

Then, I have to point out that this band has good knowledge of doing short song, I like that, when an idea is developed, they move on and search in a new song... and that's good... why so many bands try to pass always the 8 minutes limit just for fill space... that's what I appriciate from this guys... the idea is good, they work with them and then move on...

So, this an album to all Threshold, Dream Theater, Pagan's Mind or Circus Maximus fans... also nice for power metal lovers... great album... just that their are not pioneers or groundbreakers... so that's why they earn 4 stars... easily...

Report this review (#245264)
Posted Monday, October 19, 2009 | Review Permalink
5 stars Genious unchained...

Holy space cow! This is a super album, and the addition of Jacob Hansen of Invocator fame as new vocalist was a great move. Hansen does not use vibrato techniques that often, but has a very clean voice which suits the music well, and which lends itself well to multiple layering of vocals. As with the previous album, the compositions on this sci-fi themes concept album, are complex and varied combining various types of heavy riffing with guitar melodies and catchy vocal melodies, and I think that this album, like the predecessor, can be described as Queensr che taken to the next level of heaviness.

There are no weak points at all on this album, but especially "Snowbound" with its use of additional percussive instrumentation and heavy riffing, "Waking Hours" with its strange King Diamond quality, "Beyond Redemption" with its power metal chorus and Pantera-like riffs, "This White Storm Through My Mind" with its epicness and quirky riffs, and "The Final Overture" with its guitar harmonies and guitar melodies. The Ballad "Take Me Home" is actually also very good with its soft vocal melodies.

"Andromeda Unchained" is in many ways a very underrated prog metal album which belongs up there with the classics by Dream Theater, Queensr che, Fates Warning, Mastodon and the other giants.

Report this review (#254532)
Posted Sunday, December 6, 2009 | Review Permalink
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 didn┤t really make my blood boil and they didn┤t 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 band┤s sound and as a consequence brought a much needed identity to their progressive power metal style. I┤ve followed Jacob Hansen┤s musical career from the early demo days with his death/ thrash act Invocator and that act┤s ensuing album releases, his death metal adventure Maceration ( which also included Dan Swan÷), 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 band┤s improvement isn┤t 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. It┤s 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 band┤s 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 I┤m 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.

Report this review (#256709)
Posted Friday, December 18, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Denmark's ANIBUS GATE have come up with a winner on this one. I like how UMUR describes the music here as "...a sophisticated, clever and heavy Power Metal style with progressive elements". These songs pretty much are all connected as they either blend together or are united with short atmospheric sections making this seem like it's one long suite. I applaud them for that because it helps in the story they're telling.

"Freak Storm At Post Zeta...One Child Missing..." is mostly this eerie atmosphere with samples. Very cool. "Snowbound" turns powerful quickly when the atmosphere subsides. Heavy drums join in followed by vocals as the guitar grinds away. Check out the guitar and heaviness before 3 minutes. Great sound here. The chorus is so good. Love the atmosphere to end it as it blends into "Waking Hour". It kicks in quickly with vocals. A Power- Metal rhythm here. Lots of crunch with an onslaught of drums. Blistering guitar before 3 minutes. Atmosphere ends it as it blends into 'Andromeda Unchained". Kicks in quickly with heaviness and synths. Heavy drums and vocals follow. "Banished From Sector Q" is a cool sounding atmospheric piece with intricate guitar. "Beyond Redemption" sounds great with the heaviness and vocals.The tempo picks up then themes are repeated. A calm before 3 minutes. Nice. It builds with atmosphere. Great passage. "Resurrection Time" kicks in heavily then settles with vocals. Screaming guitar later. This song changes gears quite often. Outstanding section 4 1/2 minutes in to the end.

"Escape Pod" is filled with spacey synths. "The White Storm Through My Mind" opens with samples before it kicks in. Love the guitar. Vocals follow. More great guitar 3 1/2 minutes in followed by riffs. Vocals are back 6 minutes in. The guitar is lighting it up after 6 1/2 minutes as vocals stop. "The Final Overture" opens with intricate guitar melodies as drums kick in and the tempo picks up. Vocals before a minute. Heavy drums before 4 minutes followed by the guitar ripping it up. It ends with atmosphere and blends into "Take Me Home". Acoustic guitar and keys too. Reserved vocals join in. Nice guitar before 2 1/2 minutes as the tempo speeds up. It settles again. "Point Of No Concern" is atmospheric early but it kicks in quickly and heavily. Vocals follow. Nice bass before 3 minutes. It's heavy again as the tempo picks up with guitar and drums out front. More prominant bass 5 1/2 minutes in. "The End Of Millenium Road" sounds amazing when it kicks in. Vocals a minute in. Atmosphere as it calms down before 5 minutes. It kicks back in with vocals 6 1/2 minutes in. Great sound a minute later. "The Stars Of Canis Minor" ends the album with spacey atmosphere. Nice.

As usual with these Prog-Metal albums there's nothing new here, just some incredible music to enjoy. I ask for nothing more.

Report this review (#263069)
Posted Wednesday, January 27, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Wow. Futuristic. Thunderously heavy. But a band that knows when to pull back and wait for crescendo. Anubis Gate has a knack for laying textures on top of each other to weave a complex pattern. Another trait I find descriptive of the band is how they use very interesting vocal harmonies - very full, rich chords. The band lost their vocalist after A Perfect Forever, and their producer, Jacob Hansen, stepped up to the plate, and what a powerful voice he has - very reminiscent of Geoff Tate from Queensryche. The name of the band, Anubis Gate, was taken from a Science Fiction novel, and I find the sound of the band characterizes this base in Sci Fi very well. The album, Andromeda Unchained, is a concept album with a very good, unusually well developed (for a concept album) Science Fiction plot. I am incredibly impressed with how much though the band puts into their lyrics and the plot of their concepts. This is an excellent listen, and a very underrated band that belongs with the rankings of the more well know Progressive Metal bands like Fates Warning, Symphony X, and even Dream Theater.
Report this review (#752511)
Posted Saturday, May 12, 2012 | Review Permalink
4 stars There are too many "Anubis" bands out there. Come one, proggers, show a little creativity. Anyway, zoologically Denmark's Anubis Gate belong to the extensive European power prog family. But to stand out, they started diverging their evolution towards a sci-fi, cold, almost industrial sound, sometimes painting heavy psychedelic landscapes, all the while not forgetting the genre standards. This original-but-not-too-much approach reminds of the fellow sci-fiers Pagan's Mind or some parts of Ayreon, but Anubis Gate are darker and more psychedelic. The voice is high and melodic, but strains somewhat. The clanging sound of guitars make it for not an easy listen. Fortunately, they find it not beneath them to write a catchy hook or two. Or three. The clean chorus of Snowbound, for example.
Report this review (#1062495)
Posted Friday, October 18, 2013 | Review Permalink
Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Cleaving closer to the prog side of the prog metal/power metal dividing line for this release, Anubis Gate unleash an exuberant collection of tracks that wastes not a second of its 70 minute running time. Indeed, it's one of those albums which are so exciting that even though it lasts over an hour, it doesn't feel like it runs for longer than 30 minutes, so compelling is the material. When even the tacked-on untitled bonus track gets your blood pumping you know that you've got something really energetic on your hands, and if muscular, straight-ahead prog metal that follows a playbook a bit darker than the Dream Theater one sounds good to you, Anubis Gate deliver. Kim Olesen's command of synthesiser textures slipping a rather fantastical note in between the sci-fi riffs delivered up by Jesper M. Jensen. I don't find it especially deeply satisfying, but it's fun for the occasional spin.
Report this review (#1115591)
Posted Friday, January 17, 2014 | Review Permalink
3 stars A tight, focused and consistent album that adds nothing to the Progressive Metal genre.

I owe a lot to Progressive Metal as a genre, it is the reason I got into Prog and, perhaps more importantly, it is the reason I largely grew out of metal. That's not to say that there isn't good metal, or even good prog metal, all I mean to say by this is that there's a style (a formula if you will) that exists within the genre. This album, exists wholly within that proven formula and although it is a well produced, well crafted and well played it is also an album that seems to lack any imagination / anything to set it apart from the other similar artists.

This leads into another problem I have this band in that they seem to be re-using their same style over and over and over again. I honestly don't understand why this album has a much higher rating than previous albums as, in many ways, its the exact same music just with better production and a new vocalist. Perhaps the instrumentation is a bit tighter but at the same time it feels like the instrumentation itself hasn't changed with regard to any real substance.

This I feel is a common trend within Progressive Metal, Dream Theater has been releasing the same album since 'Octavarium', Circus Maximus has only ever released one album, every Symphony X album after 'Mythology V' may as well have been retitled 'Mythology VI', 'Mythology VII' ect. ect. you get the idea... My point is that if your new to Progressive Metal or will eat up everything with the Progressive Metal label then this album is great for you, they are solid musicians and great songwriters. If you are looking for a prog-metal album that sounds unique and adds something to the overall genre then this will leave you with a bad taste in your mouth.

3/5 stars

Report this review (#1156943)
Posted Wednesday, April 2, 2014 | Review Permalink

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