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Gateway – Flesh Reborn

Flesh Reborn
by Eric Poulin at 22 June 2021, 6:57 AM

GATEWAY is a Doom/Death Metal band that started in 2014 and hails from Bruges, West Flanders in Belgium This is their latest EP “Flesh Reborn” released through Chaos Records on May 7th, 2021. It is a one-man band project where all the musical duties are handled by Robin van Oyen.

The opener “Hel” is the perfect embodiment of a slow crushing number, that not only surrounds with its heavy guitars, but with its incredibly ominous and majestic tone. For those of you who are video-game fanatics, this sound like the perfect soundtrack to facing the final boss in a dark cavern, where only the hero and the almighty villain must face off to see who will stand victorious.  There is a huge crust of riffs on this one that serves its role perfectly, it is the prelude of what is to come. “Slumbering Crevasses” which dwells on the similar themes and is a powerhouse that engulfs you for its entire 6-minute length. There is a halo, a special kid of energy that flows in the band’s sound, that not only traps you in, but induces this feeling of impending doom and death, as rivers of dismay surround you.  The best comparison I can think of is the band HOODED MENACE, that has that ability to way beyond the depths of filth in their tone, yet everything remains discernable. It is also impressive that the sound comes from only 1 person playing all the instruments and controlling the arrangements, as this sounds kike 3-4 musicians, following each other in a whirlwind of melodies and overpowering rhythm sections.

“Rack Crawler” is the killer track on this offering, with sheer aggression and an approach much more in the DISMEMBER vein, with the down tuned guitars, and unbridled dissonance. I would not venture to say the previous 2 songs did not have their own take on going against the grain, but this one really outshines them in that regard. It even has a small tinge of blackened doom metal, with the typical barebones fast guitar picking style.

Last but least, we have the skull crushing “Flesh Reborn” serving as the title track of this endeavor, which happens to be the longest journey on the record, clocking-in at over 12 minutes and while it chooses not to dwell into a never-ending intro, there is a repetitive nature (almost post-rock in its essence at times), that will appeal to fans of early ISIS and of course of one of my all-time favorite projects, NEUROSIS. You will clearly hear the influence of the latter, because of its slower progressions and hypnotic tendencies. As many epics of this genre, the song leaves you drained of all your energy, because the brain knows to spot a pattern, and the one laid out here is one of rebirth from the ashes, and it is a slow, but painful growth indeed.

If any of you have been longing to be fully immersed in a shredder, and somehow feeling fulfilled at the end, this project bears all those qualities and more. The fact this is all produced by 1 musician is amazing and very well-crafted for the doom/death category, do yourself a favor and support this band, if this your cup of tea.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

1. Hel
2. Slumbering Crevasses
3. Rack Crawler
4. Flesh Reborn
Robin van Oyen - Everything
Record Label: Chaos Records


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