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Thy Gate Beyond - Enemy At The Gates

Thy Gate Beyond
Enemy At The Gates
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 09 May 2013, 11:03 AM

I have no idea if this is a depraved coincidence or a bad omen, but just as I heard of the premature passing of SLAYER's lead guitarist, Jeff Hannemann (R.I.P.), here I am about to review an Italian band that has seem to be highly influenced by the old SLAYER Thrash machine. In overall, it is kind of hard since a legend died, but at least I can recognize a contribution to a memory aside to another step in a band's career. So I will dive into the war ensemble, thrashing like maniac with speed and spiked fists. There you have your war mongering thrills outdone with THY GATE BEYOND, a group of veterans, breathing, drinking, chained and bound to the virtues of 80s Speed / Thrash Metal. Forging a legacy under banners such as SLAYER, DESTRUCTION and SODOM, this Italian group isn't looking forward but prefers to retain modernity at bay, creating their moshpit trenches with loud blasting punches. Coming in with a third album, after not issuing a release since 2006, newly signed to the local SG Records, THY GATE BEYOND released "Enemy At The Gates". The war isn't over, it is all around us, segments of its merchants are unseen but death caused is real.

From start to end, "Enemy At The Gates" is a tornado of menace, a barrage of aggression, speed demonic enslavement, clutching the ashes of the old into a wild fest. THY GATE BEYOND have been proving their loyalties to the old Speed / Thrash scene, mostly SLAYER in particular, composing material in the image and aura of "Reign In Blood" and "Hell Awaits" right to the door steps of "South Of Heaven" song arrangements. Generally, their rhythms aren't technical to say the least, just plainly head on skin bashing speed mania with occasional drifts into mid tempo palm muted jams with several licks as enhancements. The soloing is as expected, total SLAYER stimulus domination, yet gladly the older, somewhat artistic, soloing ventures unlike the newer fast tremolo high notes crap. Yet, several of the peak moments share also the same type of crap that the American giant has been demonstrating on stage for the past few years. As far as the singing goes, it is more or less mere barking of words and phrases other than actual singing, but hey its Thrash and most of us know what it means. Simone Flammini is a sort of an Araya with fumes of Angelripper (without the Blackened growls) and Schmier, yet with ounces of accent, nonetheless, an adequate showmanship. I would suggest some of the album's profound examples such as "Under Iron Skies", "Enemy at the Gates", "Horror Paradise" and the bonus flavor of "Parabellum" (probably performed and recorded with a former singer).

The reason that I couldn't rate this album any higher than a 7 is the fact that this band has no actual image of its own. THY GATE BEYOND, judging by "Enemy At The Gates" could have been an Italian tribute band to SLAYER, possessing the same attitudes, musical and production values and bag of tricks. I wouldn't call them a copycat band, as it is way too harsh, but as it seems most of the material isn't original. I embraced their energies and chaos oriented deliveries, but I couldn't find their own signature. Even their sound engineering is heavily close to "Reign In Blood". Apart from being a retrospect, THY GATE BEYOND's creations, some at least, faded away pretty fast without leaving a mark on this reviewer's memory lane, disregarding the fact that the album is less than a 30 minutes playing time. SLAYER fans would probably like this one. This band is a keeper; I just wish they would find their own image other than reciting bits of others. Influence is a virtue and a gift for all, but there should be limits.         

3 Star Rating

1. 1942
2. Enemy at the Gates
3. The Blade in My Flesh
4. Back from Thy Gate Beyond
5. For Whom the Storms Evoke
6. My Brain Is Dead… Reactivate It's Too Late
7. Under Iron Skies
8. The Culprit Chaos
9. Horror Paradise
10. Parabellum
Simone Flammini – Vocals
Guido D’Agostino – Guitar
Marco Palumbaro – Guitar
Fabrizio Carota – Bass
Matteo Giancristofaro - Drums
Record Label: SG Records


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