PORTRAIT - Crossroads
May 5, 2014, 6 years ago
Dating back to their ’08 eponymous debut, along with countrymen WOLF, these Swedes were one of the first globally recognized “sound-alike” outfits, copping an early MERCYFUL FATE vibe, even after switching vocalists. Following the short, opening, acoustic laden ‘Liberation’ instrumental, ‘At The Ghost Gate’ begins seven gloomy, mid-tempo numbers (42 minutes) alternating between guttural bellow and high-pitched falsetto wail (much like their mentors). ‘We Were Not Alone’ picks up the pace, to a mild gallop, while follow-up ‘In Time’ is the disc’s speedsters, trying to replicate the Denner-Shermann twin lead interplay atop a predominately falsetto lyrical parade. Also a cool double guitar section in ‘Black Easter’. ‘Our Roads Must Never Cross’ starts with an homage to the Mercyful one’s ‘Curse Of The Pharoahs’, before upping the ante to (comparatively) near punk intensity, ultimately ending with stratospheric scream. Most of these songs last about five minutes, apart from the acoustic-begun closer ‘Lily’, which is nearly twice that length. Not their strongest effort, but better than ¾ of the new releases out there, hence the score.