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Return From The Grave - Gates Of Nowhere

Return From The Grave
Gates Of Nowhere
by Julius “Dreadheart” Mikkelä at 27 September 2014, 9:06 PM

Venice, Italy’s Stoner/Doom Metal band, RETURN FROM THE GRAVE, returns 2 years after their debut album, “The Rebirth from the Last Breath”, with a new vintage that sounds even more like a 70’s Metal album than their debut did, and it’s called “Gates Of Nowhere”. At first glance, it appears to be much of the same with a more focused production, but dig a little deeper, and it’s not hard to see that these guys have stepped up from being an old-school inspired garage band, to becoming a real retro band.

And I call it “retro” because that’s exactly what RETURN FROM THE GRAVE plays: A dated kind of music that has come and gone, and is now revived without any real ambition towards progression or improvement over the source. What’s the source? A big chunk of BLACK SABBATH-esque riffs, mood and atmosphere, along with some more CANDLEMASS-reminiscent Doom Metal touches and a sound that leans ever so slightly towards the Stoner direction, if Stoner had existed in the 70’s. By now some readers may very well think, “I’ve heard this before”, and they’d be quite right; this kind of Metal has absolutely exploded in the last decade with acts like WITCHCRAFT and GRAVEYARD, among many others, looking back to the lost glory days for inspiration. RETURN FROM THE GRAVE is just that, but on conservative steroids. Where GRAVEYARD took and evolved the sound into the 21st century, RETURN FROM THE GRAVE desires nothing else than to make an album that - in every way - sounds like it was made in the 70’s. And they succeed with flying colors.

Because as soon as the 3-minute long Doom-filled intro track, “Intro”, has passed and the first song, “Words In Words”, take over, you’ll start looking for that release date label to see if you got it wrong: It sounds just the way the first BLACK SABBATH albums did (minus the timeless genius that was BLACK SABBATH, of course). It’s almost eerie to hear how well they’ve managed to recreate that sound, not just in terms of production, but also the way the instruments play and the way the songs were written and even the way Semenz’s howling vocals echo. In an odd turn, the whole thing becomes so genuinely retro that it feels… fresh. And it helps that the songs are all great, although perhaps not so instantly memorable, and filled to the brink with raw groovy riffs and existentialistic lyrics – like a good 70’s-like Metal album should!

So in the end, for what it is, RETURN FROM THE GRAVE’s “Gates of Nowhere” is a great album that’ll take anyone back to the 70’s and make you seriously question whether or not this was actually made in 2014 or not. They do absolutely nothing that hasn’t been done before, but they never intended to, and what they do, they do so convincingly, you can’t help but enjoy it as the retro trip it is. The question now becomes: What will RETURN FROM THE GRAVE do now that they’ve, for better or for worse, forged a perfect 70’s sound in the 21st century?

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Intro
2. Words In Words
3. Center of the Will
4. The Rage of Rays
5. Uncovered Fate
6. River in the Sky
7. Inside Human’s Soul
Lineup:
Jacopo “Semenz” Semenzato - Vocals
Luca “Sparta” Salviato - Guitars
Giacomo ”Jack” Secco - Drums
Christian ”Kilo” Chillon - Bass
Record Label: Argonauta Records
     


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