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Moongarden The Gates of Omega album cover
3.10 | 67 ratings | 12 reviews | 7% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 2001

Songs / Tracks Listing

CD 1 (45:31)
1. Forever Chained (7:56)
2. 5 Years (6:28)
3. The Gates of Omega (27:03) :
- a. Omega
- b. Beyond the Gates
- c. Metamorphosis Complete
4. Moonsong (4:04)

CD 2 (55:03)
5. Home Sweet Home (16:20) :
- a. Homeless Heart
- b. The Lonelyness War
- c. Silent Cry
- d. The Road to the Old House
- e. All I Can Do
6. Castles of Sand (11:43)
7. Stars and Tears (17:10) :
- a. Night Words
- b. This Little Dream
- c. Who Are You?
- d. Stars and Tears
- e. Day Words
8. Moonsong - The Conclusion (9:50)

Total Time 100:34

Line-up / Musicians

- Luca Palleschi / lead & backing vocals
- David Cremoni / electric & acoustic guitars
- Cristiano Roversi / keyboards, piano, fretless bass, Chapman Stick, co-producer
- Massimiliano Sorrentini / drums

- Pamela Brooks / voice (4)
- Massimo Menotti / keyboards & guitars ambient loops (3b)
- Ian Brooks / drums (3b)

Releases information

Artwork: Massimiliano Sorrentini

2CD Mellow Records ‎- MMP 398 (2001, Italy)

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MOONGARDEN The Gates of Omega ratings distribution

(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(7%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(55%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (12%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

MOONGARDEN The Gates of Omega reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Hibou
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars This is not the type of album you listen to in a hurry. If you're in a 'kick ass' kind of mood, get your PALLAS, AYERON or FLOWER KINGS out. But if you want to drown yourself into mellowland for over 100 minutes of strange, beautiful music, "The Gates of Omega" is the ticket.

The musical phrases on the first two tracks are so TONY BANKS-like you'd think the composer of MOONGARDEN had been inside the old master's head - two profoundly moving melodious pieces. The next one, however, the 27-minute epic title track, is pure delight. The lyrics are very sparse, leaving plenty of room for sounds that are simply out of this world: magical, dreamy, atmospheric yet so gripping they rip you apart. It starts with something I would describe as DAVID SYLVIAN at his musical best with arrangements la BRIAN ENO. The track slowly introduces world music drumbeats that pave the way to some hypnotic TANGERINE DREAM-like synths. The theme keeps on developing ever so slowly until you find yourself swimming in a sea of heavenly keyboards reminiscent of GENESIS' "Wind and Wuthering". This, in my opinion, is the best cut of the double-CD set. The first disk finally closes with "Moonsong", a short narrated piece with a haunting Indian, Ravi Shankar flavour.

The second disk is more or less a mixture of both styles: some heavily BANKS-influenced musical themes with interesting arrangements and time changes, plus some unusually colourful musical textures that truly puts MOONGARDEN in a category of its own. Perhaps not an absolutely essential album, but surely an essential title track that will adorn anyone's collection who's into melodious prog.

Review by hdfisch
1 stars Usually I've got three categories of albums.Ones that I like immediately and only repeated spins will evaluate their actual half-life period, then those I don't like very much just from the beginning, but fall in love with on second or third listen. The third one, and "The Gates of Omega " belongs into this one is dedicated to albums I listen once and then never again, because they appear competely boring and unimportant to me. It was really tough not to fall asleep during the first CD and then there is even a second one, which is not much better in fact. Lengthy atmospheric parts, absolute boring rhythms, songs structured more or less in a mainstream rock manner but extended to prog-ish length and on the top of this some really typical Neoprog-ish squeaking digital keyboards. That's too much for me, sorry. I'm usually not a complete hater of this sub-genre, there are sometimes nice bands to discover and I can appreciate some stuff by the "big ones" like Marillion (Fish-era), Arena, IQ or even some of Pendragon. I'm as well not very restricted in my musical spectre, I like a lot stuff from very mellow to quite tough. But I'm absolutely allergic against boring stuff like this one here. I can't rate it higher than with 1 star, I'm sorry with all respect to the musicians!
Review by erik neuteboom
3 stars Last year I witnessed a gig by this amazing Italian progrock band. I was impressed by the performance of the singer, the wonderful keyboard sound and the varied compositions. This 2-CD is not their latest (that's RoundMidnight from 2003), it's already five years old. I took a look at the reviews on Prog Archives, the rating alternates from 1 to 5 stars, "say no more!"....

I have to mention that The Gates Of Omega is not an easy album to listen to, the climates alternate frequently from romantic, a bit melancholic progressive pop (like Nineties U2 and Peter Gabriel) to pure symphonic rock like mid-Genesis (lush keyboards, Moog Taurus bass pedals, twanging guitars and sensitive, flowing guitar soli) and even electronic music in the vein of 74-80 Tangerine Dream (hypnotizing atmospheres with floods of Mellotron and spacey synthesizer sounds), an incredible varied sound! But Moongarden also delivers fine musical ideas like choir-Mellotron waves blended with Spanish guitar runs, a beautidul piece on acoustic piano and a song featuring a sultry, exotic climate with a djembe percussie sound, soaring keyboards and the distinctive Stick bass. But my highights were the compelling, often long soli on the electric guitar and the omnipresent (sampled in my opinion) Mellotron waves, mostly choir but also flute and violin sound.

To me this 2-CD sounds as progrock to discover, I honestly don't understand my two fellow reviewers with their 1 rating: music is subjective but Moongarden has delivered a wonderful piece of music with emotion, skills and variety. It must be a blow for these musicians to read those low rated, in my opinion too subjective reviews. I won't conclude that this is an excellent addition to any progrock collection but at least this is good music, worth to check out!

Review by ZowieZiggy
2 stars I have only moderately appreciated the first two albums of this Italian band and I was not really sure that a double album would be the best experience. But anyway, since I started, I might as well describe my feelings about it.

IMHHO, the best moment of the first CD, is the closing part of "Five Years" (nothing to do with a song from whom you might know of course). Two short minutes...

Then the title track.Over twenty-seven minutes! This song is mostly TD oriented (like during their great trilogy) before the dull part (some eight minutes or so) and fully Floydian after it ("Echoes").

But to solidly borrow TD music almost thirty-five years after "Phaedra", "Rubycon" and "Ricochet" (that's MY trilogy at least) is not very interesting. Pleasantly played that's true, but no more. The Floydian part now. Quite well performed, even good but not reaching the grandeur of the masters of course.

To say that CD two starts with a powerful track would be exaggerated. "Home Sweet Home" is a looooooooooong and rather dull song. It reminds me of the poorest Mark II Marillion and their soporific, uninspired music. Some typical neo-prog synth at half time (or thereabouts) and a more dynamic passage could have indicated some improvement but the band will quickly revert to its flaw mood.

Repetitiveness and dullness are on the rendez-vous with "Castles Of sand". For over eleven minutes. Help! Now, be ready to face seventeen minutes of "Stars & Tears". If some short guitar solo and very good mellotron parts are real good, the truth is to say that these are lasting for less than five minutes. You can add some fully "Genesis" oriented keys (including a rip-off of "Watcher") and you get the picture.

No doubt that if you are in love with "Marbles" (which is NOT my case), you might be appealed by this work. I wouldn't be as harsh as some fellow reviewers; but still, this album is hard to swallow in one full and straight listening. Hundred minutes of this treat is not what I could call an enjoyable musical experience. I didn't have a pleasant evening while listening to this lenghty album.

The closing number Moonsong - The Conclusion is another uninspired track. Extremely repetitive again (sorry for being as repetitive as this album, can't avoid it!). Do not hurry up to listen to this one.

Two stars.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars This certainly pales when compared to the follow up "Round Midnight", but there is a lot that I like about this double album.This would be the first MOONGARDEN album to feature the beautiful vocals of Luca Palleschi, and that's probably what brings me the most enjoyment. Cristiano Roversi is the main man here though as he plays bass and keyboards, as well as writing all the lyrics and music to these songs.The music here for the most part is slow to mid paced, so with 100 minutes of it you need some patience.

"Forever Chained" is a pretty good opener with the sampled mellotron, flute and of course vocals.Nice guitar 6 minutes in as well. I should mention the excellent bass too. "5 Years" isn't as good with the prominant piano and strings. I do like the guitar though 5 minutes in. "The Gates Of Omega" is the 27 minute epic. Atmospheric to start out before drums and synths come in. Guitar and reserved vocals after 2 1/2 minutes. I really like the vocals which are fragile yet passionate. More atmosphere 10 minutes in with mellotron and synths when the vocals stop. Drums before 17 1/2 minutes that stop before 19 minutes. It starts to build after 21 1/2 minutes with prominant synths as mellotron continues. "Moonsong" is led by percussion, bass and synths.

Disc two begins with "Home Sweet Home" and it starts out with a beat and synths. Vocals before 1 1/2 minutes. Mellotron after 3 1/2 minutes when the vocals stop. A fuller sound and the tempo picks up 5 1/2 minutes in. Guitar before 7 minutes followed by synths. It calms right down and vocals return before 9 1/2 minutes. I like the section before 11 1/2 minutes as the guitar and bass become prominant and the vocals become more passionate. "Castles Of Sand" is another song that doesn't do much for me with all the piano and strings early. "Stars And Tears" sounds good 4 minutes in as mellotron, bass and drums lead the way. Guitar comes in a minute later. Vocals are back before 7 minutes as the guitar solo ends. Mellotron before 9 minutes as it settles and vocals stop. Vocals return before 14 1/2 minutes. "Moonsong-The Conclusion" opens with synths before a relaxing beat joins in. Guitar comes in tastefully and plays on and on. Nice.

This ambitious double album from these Italian musicians certainly as some high points, but as with most "doubles" there's a lot of music I would call average.

Review by Matti
4 stars I have heard two albums by this Italian band, and this 2-CD is the better one. Many different bands/artists from Pink Floyd and Genesis (Wind & Wuthering) to Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream are mentioned in previous reviews, but I think the best comparison is made by ZowieZiggy who mentions Marbles (MARILLION). Indeed, I found a lot of Hogarth-era Marillion in this work, starting from Luca Palleschi's vocals. The hurriless atmosphere - with a nod towards ambient - where the crisp, floating keyboards have the major role and where the guitar also stays on the calmer side even when soloing is quite similar to certain works by the more recent Marillion. The vocals are rather sparse and instrumental sections are long. There's a female guest vocalist on one track (not mentioned in the album info).

As already said here, this is not an album to listen to if you want something dynamic. Even for me the whole 100 minutes of it get a bit tiresome, at least if I'm not completely in the right mood for it. Many tracks (3) stretch beyond ten minutes, and the title track is as long as 27 minutes, but it's not a rollercoaster epic in the FLOWER KINGS mold; frankly, it could be concentrated into half of its length without losing anything else but the sleepy atmosphere. Speaking of the whole album too, it tends to be quite samey in the end, as enjoyable and totally free of any irritating, worse moments it is. That's why I'm hesitating between 3 and 4 stars. But after all, the music is so enjoyable that if the only problem is the length, that shouldn't take the fourth star away. There's no rule saying that albums must always be listened from start to end, is there?

Review by apps79
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A turn of events followed the release of ''Brainstorm of emptyness'', starting right after the album was launched with Tonco and Sardini leaving the band and Davide Cagnata from Obscura joining for a cover on Osanna's ''There will be time'', included in the 97' Italian Prog tribute ''Zarathustra's revenge''.Due to personal problems Moongarden were put on ice in 1997 with Roversi finding time to focus on his first solo album ''Music from my room's window'', which came out in 1999.When things were back on track, Roversi decided to gather Moongarden again with him, Massimiliano Sorrentini and David Cremoni now joined by another ex-Obscura member, Luca Palleschi on lead vocals and new keyboardist Luca Dell'Anna.With Mellow Records never giving up on the group, Moongarden returned in 2001 with the 2-CD album ''The Gates of omega''.

With Roversi exploring the fields of Electronic and Ambient Music during the abscence of Moongarden from the scene, it appears that his newly involved territories had much inspired his style.He brought these influences to his main band and the result was a super-extended effort, torn between an updated Neo Prog sound with lots of piano, vocal melodies and dreamy atmospheres and a minimalistic Ambient/Experimental approach, which focuses on soft singing lines, Industrial vibes, effects and electronics.The bad thing is that he decided to follow the latter style in most of the long compositions of the album, the result being a collage of hypnotic, atmospheric soundscapes with hardly distinguished variations in a lounge palette of music colors.''Forever chained'' and ''5 Years'' are two nice, lyrical and emotional Neo Prog pieces from the first CD, but the 27-min. long title-track maybe found a waste of time, for those discouraged by the label ''Ambient Music''.The second CD contains four long tracks (from 10 to 17 minutes long), which sound more balanced with mixed stylings, but the result is more or less the same.The big symphonic sounds in specific segments is absolutely efficient, the melodic breaks are mostly nice and the vocals of Luca Palleschi are both clean and sentimental.But then follow the emphatic twists towards Pop and Ambient Music with synth-based soundscapes, electronic beats and lounge acoustics, which hurt the overall effort.Focus on the 16-min. ''Home sweet home'', which practically sounds like old'n'good Moongarden and their strong GENESIS references.

One of the most uneven albums I've heard.The Neo and symphonic tendencies are among the goodies of this release and a great example of the style, but the minimalistic, electronic flavors, while quite atmospheric, spoil the cohesion of the listening experience.Approach with caution, at least the album is too long and there is some interesting stuff among the overstretched ideas...2.5 stars.

Latest members reviews

4 stars How can mere mortals make such beautiful music! If you've heard Moongarden's previous two albums and liked what you've heard, then do yourself a favor and have a listen to "The Gates of Omega". I admit I was skeptical when I found out that Riccardo Tonco (who sounds just like David Sylvian and has a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1224676) | Posted by mbzr48 | Saturday, July 26, 2014 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It seems i will be the first one to have a word on the actual version. Indeed, it has to be added about the new remastered and more concised 2010 1cd edition of what i think is a very good neo prog album. Now i've never heard the original version but whatever has been cut down gives as a result a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1035538) | Posted by bertolino | Sunday, September 15, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This is a magnificent album. What I find particularly admirable about the music is how Moongarden achieve a high level of compositional sophistication without allowing its complexity to become too conspicuous. Often, Progressive Rock strives too hard in its desire to employ unusual time-signat ... (read more)

Report this review (#618879) | Posted by Kiwi1 | Wednesday, January 25, 2012 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An outstanding album for a time of mediocre music. I discovered this, and a couple other Moongarden albums this year...a great band with a great sound. This record reminds me of Yes' "Topographic Oceans" with its long tracks! I LOVE double albums done right!!! ... (read more)

Report this review (#41008) | Posted by | Saturday, July 30, 2005 | Review Permanlink

5 stars In my opinion,this is one of the best progressive rock album i've ever heard!!! Even if they're influenced by Genesis and Camel,the music is extremely beautiful and really romantic,with marvellous mellotron passages and also good solos (like in Home Sweet Home and Stars and Tears),but there are also ... (read more)

Report this review (#4899) | Posted by | Thursday, April 15, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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