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Roadhog > Gates to Madness > Reviews
Roadhog - Gates to Madness

Gates To The Past - 85%

Sweetie, December 26th, 2022

Out of Poland’s Krakow comes a traditional heavy metal quartet known as Roadhog. Between the band’s name, aesthetic, and style, it could almost be assumed that this is a band from the ‘80s that revived themselves in recent time. That just isn’t the case, as they’re composed of young members that have only been around since 2012. Gates To Madness is the group’s third full-length. Normally, I find this brand of polishing (Polishing?) to be a bit corny, but things land decently here.

Similar to Sumerlands, this leans on a much brighter energy that digs up ‘70s rock influence and a slight hint of European power metal. Upbeat tempos take the reins on almost everything, while the riffing itself is far more reflective of Van Halen or Rainbow than Iron Maiden or Angel Witch. Yet, the boost that’s given by the rhythmic drive, and the heavy bottom add a Manowar-type finishing. Thrashier takes even make their way in on “Surreal Overdose,” and “Unleashed'' feels very heavy for the foundation that’s laid beneath it.

Hell, the airiness and lighter sides of this contrast are enough to feel like an unintentional contradiction, much in the way Idle Hands is without any sadboi jamming. The loud drumming and bassy foundation overpowers this from time to time, and I’ll admit that it caused a slightly awkward flow. But regardless of how far things strays from the main idea, it come back to the foundation, and this grew on me after several listens. “Misery Loves Company” truly rakes in the harmonies in a way that touch the hopeful feels, despite following what felt like a heavier step out of focus.

Roadhog are extremely different in how they sold themselves. It’s like they took some of the most generic rehashes of classic styles and pushed together only the things that allow those reboots to be decent. It’s a strange case of “this band is easier to describe by comparison to other bands,” yet none of the “other bands” feel like they’re fully grasped. I may even go as far as saying that Gates To Madness works by accident. To sum it up, it’s like several contradicting angles of ‘80s rock and metal came together without much thought, and just happened to work out of chance. I look forward to what they can do down the line; with a little more organization, Roadhog could probably drop something truly elite.