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GATES OF DAWN "II" CD (digipak) *Ships June 14*

GATES OF DAWN "II" CD (digipak) *Ships June 14*

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Import from Belgium.

Raw psychedelic black metal. Second album by Gates of Dawn, out now on CD for the first time. An absolutely fantastic follow up to the already excellent self-titled debut of 2020, this album has been one of the most anticipated of the year, an eagerness that was much fueled by the incredible promo tape released late last year. A big step up from the debut, this album shows a much more concise and focused songwriting. Not done as a stream-of-consciousness type of songwriting, rather this release is much more daring in structure and execution. The guitar work here is much more in the forefront, and very varied, from the ethereal and Post-Punkish melodies of the extraordinary "Crimson Mess", to the 70's Rocking opening riffs of "O Ouroboros" and the Punkishness of "Eyes with no Light". The notorious Symphonic influence and resemblence with bands like Odium or Sirius still remains very much in the Synths and medieval-like keys however, but on top of that there's a huge range of influences and synchronicities to explore from the epic choral vocals of the third track, to the psychedelic New Age like synths, shining particularly on the Kosmische outro. This influence of 70's synthesizer music seems to be in the forefront of the record, particularly in the mood and atmosphere development, with the muffled but warm guitars appearing to be made to match them perfectly, creating this atmosphere of battle marching into the firmament, with the distant stars and galaxies serving as guide. The astonishing cover art matches this mood perfectly, exquisitely made by Elya Inbar, an artist that had already gained my appreciation with the insanely brilliant J-card of Gorsedd FM's "The Promise of Rot". A one of a kind band, in the forefront of this interesting re-exploring of the Symphonic BM sound, but with an absolutely unique take, to which, as far as contemporaries go, I'd only really compare to Kaldeket, even if with very different takes on production and riffage.

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