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Sacred Gate - Tides Of War

Sacred Gate
Tides Of War
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 30 May 2013, 1:36 PM

In war, peace can also be found in death. This was the fear of an end game, where the Greek Empire collapses in the front of the swarming Persian armies invading from the East. The fierce warriors of Sparta, which I am sure that plenty of you boys and girls watched the movie “300”, with all their might, couldn’t withstand the numbers of the Persians bursting in waves towards their lands. The rear guard of Greeks held their stance for seven full days until succumbing to a defeat, slaughtered by the remaining vast numbers of the Persians. Betrayal within the Greek ranks somewhat summed the deal of the battle of Thermopylae, which ended in a successful Persian conquest of Boeotia. Later on, through the battles of Salamis and Plataea, the Greeks were able to eliminate the Persian threat in decisive naval and ground forces strikes. But I believe that what the German Heavy / Power Metal band of SACRED GATE wished to exemplify over their new history related concept album of “Tides Of War”, via Metal On Metal Records, was the courage, sacrifice, loyalty and patriotism to the state and soil of the Spartans, and Greek army in general, that mattered and eventually, after some time, gained Greek control.

I am sure that you didn’t come here for a history lesson, though there has been much instances and samples of how Metal music can integrate well with historical and mythical events, but frankly it was a fine research as a history fan as myself. So I shall head to the music that made this album rather great and suiting to my Metal hunger. SACRED GATE, being a German classic Metal band than anything of the Euro Power Metal mongers, seemed to have been depending their stylishness of the older icons such as IRON MAIDEN, more of the later version than the old relics, and JUDAS PRIEST, RAVEN, MANOWAR, DIO and 80s RUNNING WILD. Nonetheless, I noticed several inflations for the chunkier riffing panaches of ICED EARTH and early METALLICA. However, essentially, since it is a concept album, “Tides Of War” was arranged as an Epic portent, without too many flaming spikes of incredible techy mastery as in favor was the storytelling, incitement of strong emotional states and the survival factor of the few against many. The music, with a few potent amalgamations of the classical Metal riffery of NWOBHM, meaning not too overly constructive harmonies and rhythm guitaring but capitalized enough, slashing bass work and mid tempo drumming, along with rough heavy riffages that won’t put proto mid tempo Thrash to shame. I felt a measure of simplicity within some of the rhythms, but with the layers of melodies, soloing and licks, it sounded so rich and fetching, and damn so British.

If you wished for a listening sensation of this band’s musical skills, check out the instrumental “The Final March”, I am sure that you will find your niche within this one. Frankly, I wanted more of the kick ass stuff so, thus I enjoyed the grasps of the speedy, a little Thrashy even, “Spartan Killing Machine”, the MAIDENish musically bellyful “Path To Glory”, MANOWARish nature of “Defenders (Valour Is in Our Blood)” and the melodic sharpness of “Gates OF Fire”, which even reminded me a bit of harmonic pattern of catchiness of IRON SAVIOR at its final moments. Nonetheless, with my pleasure of mighty tracks filled with heaviness and cracking vocalic demonstrations, I unearthed my special ground for everything, Epic proportions and classic Metal glory within the merits of the end, “The Battle of Thermopylae”, a highly MAIDEN influenced track, a nearly thirteen minutes of a blissful tunes of war. Being an IRON MAIDEN fan made a but suspicious about how close the written riffs seemed to entangle with early MAIDEN creations, I was proven wrong after a few minutes, SACRED GATE wrote something proud, victorious, partly anthem like, and somewhat diverse. “Tides Of War” has its way with catchy phrases, melodies and tunes, it is its main power source, I am positive that fans of melodic Metal will lunch this one, it sure satisfied my craving for a piece of class. Surely that nothing here aimed at being original, but the arrangements and overall songwriting are pleasing.

4 Star Rating

1. The Coming Storm
2. The Immortal One
3. Tides Of War
4. Defenders (Valour Is in Our Blood)
5. Gates OF Fire
6. Never To Return
7. The Final March (Instrumental)
8. Spartan Killing Machine
9. Path To Glory
10. The Battle of Thermopylae
Nicko Nikolaidis - Guitars
Jim Over - Vocals
Peter Beckers - Bass
Christian Wolf - Drums
Record Label: Metal On Metal Records


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