There is doom and doom: especially when you go into the most extreme meanderings of the genre you can find consolatory and melancholic expressions, able to induce emotion, and others that instead try without any mediation to sink the listener definitely into a putrescent abyss. This is precisely the case of the debut album of Gateway, Belgian one man band prerogative of the Bruges musician Robin Van Oyen: to approach this work you must essentially forget what is a clear and perfect sound, because here, for about forty minutes, dense and reverberated riffs lead the macabre dances accompanied by an inhuman growl (perhaps made so by some technological help, but who cares) for a result that perfectly captures the horror themes inherent in the Middle Ages and, as anticipated by the cover, the heinous practices of torture to which were subjected several unfortunate. A flaw of the album? The feeling of listening to the same song from the beginning to the end; one of its merits? Exactly the same, because for all its length you are subjected to a sort of musical apnea from which it seems you can never get out. At the level of influences declared by the Flemish musician, names such as Winter and Autopsy are mentioned, and so far we’re there, while I agree a little less with the approach to Evoken, as the band of John Paradiso is the bearer of a much more orthodox and refined sound, in comparison; if anything, the rhythmic trend, the horror connotations and the same obsessive approach, push me boldly to think of a version without keyboards of Abysmal Grief. Vox Occultus, Impaled, Vile Tempress and the milestone The Shores Of Daruk, in which some hint of melody emerges, are the peaks of a surprising and effective album in its raw essentiality, to listen preferably at an exaggerated volume, knowing that the neighbors will most likely invoke the intervention of an exorcist.

2015 – Independent