Sunday, May 24, 2020

ANCIENT GATE - Black Metal / Argentina

 Coming from the spectral wastes of the South, Ancient Gate has just released this May 23 their sophomore album, entitled "Empire Beyond Dusk", an invocation of the old ones in ten parts. This particular album took almost a year in the making, from the creation of the ten songs to the finished product. Once "From the shadow lands" and the split "Morbid gates of winter" were done, the band began the composition of the tracks that would be included in the band's second release.
The first songs came up real fast, as in the case of "A dream of frozen echoes", "In mournful winds" or "Journey through astral landscapes". By the way, all music was created by Ildrac.
Once again, the band used the equipment at Salas Esparta, owned by one of the band's friends, Mike. The equipment used was exactly the same as the debut album, save for the guitar amps (we used Orange this time). The recording process took place beetween the months of August and December of 2019. Vocals were recorded next year, once all the instruments were ready.
Some songs were discarded from the full album. One of them was even recorded completely, but at the last minute the band decided not to include it in the track list, as the lenght of the release was long enough.
The mixing and mastering were done by Ildrac, as with previous releases by the band.
This time, the artwork and logo were done by Danny Artmetal (, who does a lot of cover art for bands in Argentina.

About the lyrical concepts, they continue the tone of the debut album. Themes range from darkness, old legends and otherworldly planes.

Track by track:
In mournful Winds: Lust for power going unchecked that led a monarch to lose his corporeal form and now roams worlds away from our plane. Maybe an analogy to those consumed by their ambition. Musically speaking the song sounds as something coming from the nineties. The percussion at the song's bridge are pure Abigor inspired.

Forsaken realms: Lyrics are inspired (but not strictly about) the story "The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath". Someone has the same and recurring dream night after night, about a jeweled city, and his subsequent search for those golden halls. But finding it may mean the loss of his own being. The song was created in a single session and was different from the other tracks as it didn't have any demo made for it previously.

Journey through astral landscapes: What the name says. It tells about travels beyond the physical world and the horrors that lurk behind cosmos. I think the band was through an addiction phase with Memoria Vetusta III from Blut Aus Nord by the time they made the song, even tough it doesn't sound identical.

Empire beyond dusk: The empire that lies beyond the rays of the sun, in wich a tyrant instills terror to those under his yoke. Musically speaking, it shares similarities with Journey Through Astral Landscapes, being inspired by Blut Aus Nord.

Maze of centuries: Behind mountains in frozen regions of the world, a maze away from time. May it be the city of the old gods? After so much violence with previous songs, the album demanded a change of pace. This particular track is mostly half time.

Nightfall at the autumnal forest: A millenial ritual taking place every autumn. Dusk beings gathered at the woods praise nature. It was the last song created for the album and takes no prisoners in its violence and speed. Pure blast beats.

Memories of the forgotten land: Simply a guitar-based instrumental, in the way of Burzum (Naar Himmelen Klarner) or Judas Iscariot (An Ancient Starry Sky).

Rebirth of the ancient spirit: The roar of those willing to break the chains of this world of conformism, invoking the spirit of the ones that came before. The music drinks a lot from albums like Nachthymnen. The intense tremolo riffing at the middle of the track are a testimony to that.

Intro and Outro: Short synth driven pieces. The outro was the first track created for the new album, dating to the "Morbid gates of winter" time.

Band line-up:
Ildrac - Guitars, Bass, Keyboards, Vocals
E.Neros - Drums, percussion

As always, "Empire Beyond Dusk" and past releases, can be found in its entirety on Bandcamp. Physical copies coming soon.

Track List:
1. Moonfrost and Black Skies (Intro) 01:09  instrumental
2. In Mournful Winds 06:10  
3. Forsaken Realms 05:47   
4. Journey Through Astral Landscapes 07:05  
5. Empire Beyond Dusk 06:42  
6. Maze of Centuries 05:35  
7. Nightfall at the Autumnal Forest 06:07  
8. Memories of the Forgotten Land 03:00   instrumental
9. Rebirth of the Ancient Spirit 07:12   
10. A Dream of Frozen Echoes (Outro) 02:36   instrumental
11. My Supremacy (The Eye cover) 05:35    



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