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Andromeda Unchained - Anubis Gate

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1 Review

Genre: Pop / Artist: Anubis Gate / Import / Audio CD released 2008-04-28 at Locomotive

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      24.01.2008 15:00
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      Anubis Gate's third album (2007).

      'Andromeda Unchained' is Anubis Gate's third album, and should appeal to anyone who enjoys the more progressive side of heavy metal, or even more specifically the science fiction concept albums of Ayreon and Rush. More openly progressive than the Danish band's previous albums, the songs are nevertheless still kept memorable and engaging enough to appeal to a wider audience, aided by new vocalist Jacob Hansen whose high falsetto, while a little whiney for my taste, fits comfortably into the style of bands like Fates Warning and Dream Theater that are the obvious musical inspirations here.

      This isn't progressive music that's aiming to break down the boundaries of metal, but is rather more comfortable inhabiting a niche that was burrowed as far back as the eighties with albums like Queensrÿche's 'Operation: Mindcrime' and Fates Warning's 'Awaken the Guardian.' The musicians are all talented but don't go to great lengths to show off, excepting the customary guitar solos and theatrics of the longer songs, and the only truly unusual sounds on the recording come in the form of some tribal and Eastern influence in the early sections, followed by seventies spacey keyboards once the locale becomes extraterrestrial. It's nothing that hasn't been heard before many times, but this is still a strong and entertaining album nicely divided into multiple songs of easily digested length (with two permissable exceptions), rather than something blindly composed to alienate casual listeners.

      As the album follows a linear narrative, the music moves through several identifiable phases which makes for a more consistent and satisfying experience overall, while always retaining the commercial heavy metal root. 'Snowbound' and 'Waking Hour' gradually introduce the metal elements from a fairly pop-rock beginning to some fast power metal, culminating in the heaviest section of the album from the title track through to 'Beyond Redemption,' all of which should satisfy metal fans as long as they weren't expecting anything too extreme. The pace slows slightly as more synthesised elements are incorporated into 'Resurrection Time,' and from this point the album becomes a little bit grander and starts to take its time, though never leading to tedium. Both 'This White Storm Through My Mind' and 'The Final Overture' are full of great guitar work in the riffs, dual lead melodies and solos and make for my favourite part of the recording, even approaching the sound of modern Dream Theater on occasion, before the final section of the album slows down significantly and provides a nice ending, but noticeably lacks the energy of the previous songs, particularly in the near-ballad 'Take Me Home' sung by bassist Henrik Fayre.

      While this isn't a novel or groundbreaking album as progressive albums are perhaps expected to be (the clue's in the name really), it's still another high quality, rip-snorting, sci-fi heavy metal extravaganza of the kind I unashamedly like so much, and there's a nice commercial side to it that prevents things from getting too heavy or imposing. Ayreon is still better though.

      1. Freak Storm at Post Zeta...One Child Missing...
      2. Snowbound
      3. Waking Hour
      4. Andromeda Unchained
      5. Banished from Sector Q
      6. Beyond Redemption
      7. Resurrection Time
      8. Escape Pod
      9. This White Storm Through My Mind
      10. The Final Overture
      11. Take Me Home
      12. Point of No Concern
      13. The End of Millennium Road
      14. The Stars of Canis Minor
      15. Untitled

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Freak Storm At Post Zeta
    2 Snowbound
    3 Waking Hour
    4 Andromeda Unchained
    5 Banished From Sector Q
    6 Beyond Redemption
    7 Ressurection Time
    8 Escape Pod
    9 White Storm Through The Mind
    10 Final Overture
    11 Take Me Home
    12 Point Of No Concern
    13 End Of Millenium Road
    14 Stars Of Canis Mino