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Beware The Rites Performed - 86%

televiper11, December 12th, 2016
Written based on this version: 2016, Digital, Independent (Bandcamp)

Gateway are a death-doom band that I see getting very little attention despite several excellent releases. To my ear, Gateway are death-doom alchemists, transmuting the best of Coffins & Hooded Menace into an even heavier, more malevolently inspired atmospheric ruin of monstrous metal, the programmed drums (perhaps driving some away?) give these tracks an undergirding of martial industrial that increases the efficacy of this band's neck-wrecking march of the damned.

These two tracks were intended for a split with Skulls and while that release has been left in limbo, Gateway made their half available for "name your price" on Bandcamp. "Unhallowed Ruins / Rites" are the sonic equivalent of a necromancer being dragged down to hell by his own creations. The guitar tone is deeply menacing, with a hazy heaviness closer in kind to the stoner doom of Conan; the bass is a mechanical rumble suited to the staccato clang of programmed drums; the vocals are truly sepulchral in a manner quite close to what Lasse achieves with Hooded Menace (probably Gateway's closest influence). These two tracks show Gateway's continued commitment to his craft. His songwriting is getting stronger: this material could stand up to many of the death-doom elder gods. If you dig this style, dig in!