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Metal on Metal Records has sent me a number of requests to review their bands. I have noticed one thing about a lot of the artists on their roster. The label is very committed to the classic metal sound of the early and mid 1980's. Many artists are reunion projects from that time or are bands with a sound that is undeniably influenced by artists from that time.
Sacred Gate falls into the latter category. This is the band's debut full-length having only released an EP last year. The band's sound is a mix of traditional heavy metal and early power metal that calls to mind groups like Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Cirith Ungol, Manilla Road, and Brocas Helm. Hell, one of the songs is called "In the Heart of the Iron Maiden", a not-so-subtle reference to a major influence.
Sacred Gate's music is energetic and fast-paced. There are no filler tracks here. Every song is a straight-forward rocker. The guitar leads weave in and out of the highly competent rhythm section easily. The vocals carry a lot of the songs. This is definitely fist-pumping, hard-driving pure metal.
While Sacred Gate do not really bring anything new to the table and probably will not set the world on fire, this is a highly enjoyable release. It's metal through and through and that is definitely a good thing.