Gates of Winter - _Lux Aeterna_
(Independent, 2008)
by: Quentin Kalis (7.5 out of 10)
Gates of Winter are a new Canadian band -- average age, 23 -- with a vision and skill that belies their relative youth. They describe themselves as symphonic metal, but this is a misnomer as, although symphonic pretensions are present, they are very much muted in comparison to, say, Nightwish. It is left to the vocals (largely clean with some growls and female vocals) to act as the driving force of their compositions. The lyrical focus seems to be on the mystico-spiritual, but this where they falter, as they tend towards hyperbolic power metal-style rubbish.

The music is wonderfully layered and they do not shy away from the double bass, the undisputed highlight being the three part "Burning Kingdom". A close second is "The Wildwood Pariah"; a combination of dramatic effects, soft vocals and ethereal atmosphere render this near-ballad a true gem. The production is crystal clear and the packaging is professionally done; there is very little to suggest that _Lux Aeterna_ is an independently produced album. It does help to have the funds, but even Bill Gates' billions can only make a band sound better; they cannot, to put it crudely, turn shit into silver.


(article published 17/6/2008)

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