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Gates Of Hell - Critical Obsession

Gates Of Hell
Critical Obsession
by Keith Joshua Ham at 20 June 2013, 1:23 PM

The following is a personal disclaimer: It wasn’t long ago that I was heavily into what they consider to be Deathcore. For me, I wasn’t exactly too aware of genre differences and grew up mostly subject to the overly dominant Metalcore trend – back in my teens it was referred to as Emo music however. Now, though I’ve discovered and moved on to new purer genres, latched on to truly classic Metal legends, I’m still very much aware of what Core is. This is why, though GATES OF HELL is labeled as Thrash Metal I’ve very much sure that it is anything but that and more along the lines of a teetering Groove / Deathcore band. I’ve complained before but this time I’m not going to hold it against GATES OF HELL for such strange mislabeling. GATES OF HELL will be fully considered for what it is.

Coming out of one of the world’s Metal supergiant countries-Portugal-is GATES OF HELL – a sort of Americanized Groove / Deathcore band. By Americanized I mean that it really sounds like quite a bit of American bands, it sounds like a legion of loud burly guys going on about stuff… I’m not quite sure what GATES OF HELL is on about in “Critical Obsession” but I see a lot of clever ‘what the hell does that mean?’ titles. Perhaps there is something political here, meant to shock – though, I don’t feel shocked at all. Truth is, I can barely get past the rather cookie-cutter Deathcore tones that GATES OF HELL is throwing at me. This means, a lot of needless breakdowns; a lot of syllable accentuation; a lot of low to high howls; a lot I really can’t get past.

The entire album can be summed up during the first full song “Constructive Misery” which begins with a Hardcore style verse. It picks up afterwards, which isn’t too bad but then it immediately drops into a short breakdown and goes into a howl. Okay, so it still isn’t bad but after the howl it goes into another breakdown (which I though, hey is this the chorus?). It picks up, for almost 5-10 seconds before it goes into another breakdown and then slows down more before it goes into… you guessed it… another breakdown. From here there is a minuscule Thrash attempt where they just say the song title again and again. I realize at this point that there is no defined ‘chorus’ in this song – just a lot of breakdowns and saying the name of the song. So, for those paying attention – how many breakdowns was that in just that song? Four… The next song “Phenomenal Syndrome” suffers from the same issue. The entire album is a repeat of endless breakdowns and shouting of the song title here and there.

The best I can say for GATES OF HELL is that perhaps its production values are pretty good. Everything here is also pretty clean cut but in the end, there just isn’t anything here. It is such a halfhearted same-old-song type of album – “Critical Obsession” is an Unknowingly Bland.

1 Star Rating

1. Releasing The Disease
2. Constructive Misery
3. Phenomenal Syndrome
4. Psycothic Break
5. Critical Obsession
6. Abusive Resolution
7. Into My Destruction
8. Embracing the Reality
9. Face Your Fears
10. Evolution of the Weak
11. Chronical Revolt
Afonso Ribeiro - Drums
Filipe Afonso - Guitars
Pedro Afonso - Guitars
Raça - Vocals
Miguel Pinto - Bass
Record Label: Rastilho Records


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