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Anubis Gate - Horizons

by Matt Hensch

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Quality records have been the law for Anubis Gate. Silently and without much to-do they have coughed up a number of enjoyable releases without dropping the ball over singer swaps and the general grind of time. To make their exports a prime product within the sphere of progressive metal, they write great songs-keeping it simple, stupid. Can't fault the group for sticking to what they know throughout "Horizons." While it offers similar themes of the band's self-titled release, the songwriting dynamics and instrumental performances are immaculate as expected, maybe pieces of the group reaching its apex. Anubis Gate is bending the rules of progressive metal to make its own chapter in the sub-genre's encyclopedia; I can't think of another band that has been this successful in making its own trek.

"Horizons" has many dimensions. Perhaps the most noticeable component of the album, other than the riffs and the stylistic elements typically found in progressive metal, is its accessibility. The ease of the musical style (big on poppy choruses, clean guitars, user-friendly vocal patterns, etc.), rather than hindering the band's approach, greatly enriches the grace of the performances. Henrik Fevre, in particular, brings an ample amount of convenience to the fold, but his unique tone and style, again, enhance the texture. As the riffs and patterns are not deeply original or irreplaceable to this kind of thing, the primary strength to "Horizons" is Anubis Gate's ability to create outstanding music by arranging their guitar parts and structures into songs that are incredibly poignant and striking.

They are a versatile bunch, and certainly no one-trick pony. Big prog numbers like "Airways" and "Destined to Remember" flow naturally with myriads of riffing sections and rhythms that bite and refuse to let go. The brazen whipping of "Revolution Come Undone" is an uncharacteristically heavy number for Anubis Gate, but a great changeup nonetheless. Excellent leads and melodies on the title track and "Never Like This (A Dream)" never stop, with motifs of the latter reappearing on "A Dream Within A Dream," which is easily the climax of the record. "Erasure," the album's final note, is a fairly useless ballad ending the whole affair after fourteen minutes of brilliance on the aforementioned epic; it sounds like a bonus track exclusive to Cambodian versions at best. But hey, Anubis Gate rules, and so does "Horizons." They stick to what they know, and boy, don't they do what they do well or what?

Anubis Gate - Horizons
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