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Gates Of Ishtar - A Bloodred Path (Reissue)

Gates Of Ishtar
A Bloodred Path (Reissue)
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 08 July 2017, 9:04 PM

Digging up the past is destined to unveil discoveries that might have been enough under wraps. The early to mid 90s of the Swedish Gothenburg Death Metal scene spawned bands that became one with the big leaguers, even as a part of the mainstream. Featured with these great bands such as IN FLAMES / DARK TRANQUILLITY / SOILWORK / AT THE GATES, which has been the known foursome at the time, there were others that were short lived or remained in the underground, lifting their heads from time to time with a release or an EP. GATES OF ISHTAR, formed in the early 90s in Luleå, retained a decent following throughout the decade, side by side with ABLAZE MY SORROW / EBONY TEARS / SACRAMENTUM / DISSECTION. After successfully signing with the Finnish label Spinefarm Records, which in time will become one of the bigger names in the Metal industry, the band released their debut “A Bloodred Path” in 1996. It has been more than two decades since this band made an impact, therefore, the Dutch Vic Records made a reprint of an album that was a great contribution to the Melodic Death Metal efforts and a reminder to the gone Core bands how play this subgenre the right way.

Similar to others in their area of musical expertise, GATES OF ISHTAR based their material on the twin guitar force, the creation of British Metal oriented harmonies and melodic riffs as a contrast to the mid-range growl vocals. “A Bloodred Path” displayed a short line of melodies that were reprised throughout the list, which could indicate of lack of ideas, however, those riffs were modulated in such a manner that maintained a few differences. Furthermore, the album summoned the charge for a great change of tempos, a few fast sneak attacks harboring rapid blast beats that worked in an amazing sync with the speedy melodic tremolo action and of course mid temp chugs that said enough of the band’s rhythm guitar heaviness. As for the songwriting, it seemed pretty much traditional, rather easy to digest and differentiate between the song sections in order to know where you are while listening, an element that has been a part of Melodic Death Metal, at least on most of the albums.

“A Bloodred Path” started with a blaze and finished up rather quickly, personally I could have used a few more tracks, maybe even bonuses to keep this one going for only a little. The smooth hits “When Daylight's Gone” and “A Bloodred Path” bewitched with their guitar melodies, no doubt that best guitar work on the album. The melodies felt somewhat mournful and grey fused with the spirit of NWOBHM, a kind of magic that is barely exists in nowadays modern scene. “The Silence” stormed in with aggressive speed, going against everything that its name stands for, a hard hitting track that might receive a repeat. The intro “Inanna” turned out as one of the better prologues made in this subgenre, achieving suspension for the upcoming northern blizzard. The band also covered “I Wanna Be Somebody”, originally by the American Hard Rock / Heavy Metal band W.A.S.P., a song that is considered as one of the greatest hits in Metal. However, the Swedes made it fairly numb and lacks the intensity and emotional feel of the original.

GATES OF ISHTAR’s fate is currently unknown, yet they left a notable discography behind them. It is highly recommended to pick up this extreme Metal piece, certainly one of the superior ones composed.

Purchase Link: Vic Records

4 Star Rating

1. Inanna (Intro)
2. Where The Winds Of Darkness Blow
3. The Silence
4. Tears
5. The Dreaming Glade
6. When Daylight's Gone
7. Into Seasons Of Frost
8. A Bloodred Path
9. I Wanna Be Somebody (W.A.S.P. cover)
Mikael Sandorf - Vocals
Tomas Jutenfäldt - Guitars
Andreas Johansson - Guitars
Niklas Svensson - Bass
Oskar Karlsson - Drums
Record Label: Vic Records


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