Gates of Winter: Lux Aeterna
Gates of Winter - Lux Aeterna - [Self Release]


Gates of Winter is a Canadian group, who's music can best be defined their as symphonic, melodic metal. Nowadays metal music as so many sub genres that sometimes it's difficult to relate a band to a specific metallic sub genre, this is the case with Gates of Winter, which uses some unique combinations from a quite a few sub genres. It uses elements from gothic & doom metal, mixed with more melodic metal influences with some additional prog Rock/metal music.

Lee Maines, the band's vocalist and rhythm guitarist does a fantastic job at switching between clean and growled vocals, that – combined with some truly great guitar riffs, which are perfectly intertwined with the keyboard lines played by Brian Holmes – works wondrously for the band. The direction they take here reminded me of prog. metal in the Dream Theater vein because of those two factors. Add to that some well placed guitar leads are, great work by lead guitar player – Bryan Belleau.

Following a few listening sessions to the album, I can mark my favorite songs as: the 3rd track - "Burning Kingdom II: Heavenly Insurgence", which begins with interesting bass lines, played by Steve Angelo, The song has a dark atmospheric touch which is dispersed somewhat by the background keyboards, on top of that it makes use of some very good vocals and absolutely great guitar leads.
My other favorite songs are also the 4th track - "Burning Kingdom III: Lux Aeterna", which is a perfect continuation to the previous cut, and the closing track: "Omega". All quite unique in any context, but they sit in well in this album, which doesn’t really a weak cut in it.
Something about the album gave me the distinct feeling that band members have put all their (considerable) talent and some serious effort into this album.

From a listener perspective, this is an album that both will attract both more prog-inclined metalheads alongside those more into doom/gothic - it works fine in both genres.
When I've first listened to the album, a name that crossed my mind was: Havayoth, a project by Andreas Hedlund (aka Vintersorg), which kinda flows in a similar direction and released just one album called: "His Creation Reversed" in 2000.

One more thumbs up goes to the album artwork, it's absolutely amazing! The art direction and design was done by Geoffrey Rousselot from Deep-Peace design, who's work I wouldn’t mind seeing more.

I really hope that this band lands a good record deal, with material this good they should receive some proper worldwide distribution.
If you like Opeth, Dream Theater, Havayoth, Paradise Lost, Nightwish and even Pantera or Strapping young lad – try to find ways to purchase this album. You'll definitely enjoy it.

Gal Gur-Arie

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