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The flesh quivers again - 83%

gasmask_colostomy, June 19th, 2021

Flesh Reborn seems a very apt title for Gateway’s comeback after 2 years of rest for Robin van Oyen. The grisly doom death he made before has returned with him, and this 4 track EP presents the project in its best light - a dim, red glow that flickers for only 26 minutes. Half of that time being taken up by the title track, you’d better believe the close to the release forms a long journey crawling into hell.

The key to Gateway’s operations has always been the submerged sound of the guitars, catatonic clanging rhythms, and van Oyen’s rumbling low growls. Though ‘Hel’ introduces proceedings instrumentally, it makes no difference, the uneasiness of the style coming right through the speaker like the reek of sulphur. Tension builds in the longer ‘Slumbering Crevasses’, yet the long-form approach used in ‘Flesh Reborn’ really drives the atmosphere home with thrilling squeals of guitar that will raise the hairs on your arm when combined with the grinding low guitars.

I never find much actual songwriting when I listen to Gateway, and the project doesn’t need a great deal either, succeeding as soon as the mood reaches that sinister tortured sound. The shorter runtime on this EP and the preceding one allows the foul atmosphere to spread without growing stale, since van Oyen has access to very little variation besides adding and releasing intensity. As such, not much has changed in the world of Gateway, but I can say happily that it’s horrid to have the band back.