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Gates Of Dawn - 'Sepia' http://rocktopia.co.uk/media/reviews/photos/thumbnail/200x200s/ce/53/1b/3448_gatesofdawnsepia_1364067570.jpg Hot

Added by Central Electronic Brain     March 23, 2013    
 
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12 track dark/gothic metal/rock release.

Gates Of Dawn is yet another new name to me. Their home is Hanau in Germany and ‘Sepia’ is a 12 track dark/gothic metal/rock release, the third, following ‘Parasite’ in 2009 and ‘Lucid Dreaming’ in 2011. The band contains seven members and is another with both a male and female singer. Lead vocals are split evenly between the two, similar to Lacuna Coil in that respect, with neither vying for more attention than the other.

Opener ‘Serpent’ is a pretty good blueprint for the rest of the album and if I have an initial criticism it is that the song-writing formula lacks enough variation. As a whole there are not enough changes in tempo from one song to the next meaning they sometimes disappear into a background blur. ‘Hypothermia’ has a bit more energy resulting from the guitars being pushed higher in the mix. ‘Titan (Lovers Of Saturn)’ features a heavy grinding riff and a thumping bass line that sounds good through the headphones (and is possibly my favourite track) but the repetitive guitar melody during ‘Naked’ indicates a lack of imagination and becomes tiresome after repeated plays. Semi-ballad ‘The City Sleeps’ and album closer ‘...To Whom It May Concern’ show the band’s softer side and at least provides something of a respite from the one-paced musical domination.

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When Matthias has the predominant vocal role, I’m reminded of Rammstein’s Till Lindemann, with a little less menace. There is an industrial element to the songs but all the songs are sung in English. Martina’s vocals give the songs slightly more of a gothic edge and I’m then reminded of German band Elis when Sabine Dunser was still alive. Martina and Matthias share lead vocals on a number of songs and that is when I’m reminded of Sisters Of Mercy more than anyone else. The band also features Tina Sarrach on ‘violent violin’ (?!) but her contributions seem to be minimal unless they are buried way down in the overall mix.

I’ve played this CD through three times; once through the car stereo, once through my full sound system and once through my headphones. I have to say that it actually sounds best through headphones. One of the reasons being that there are less distractions and it is easier to concentrate on the songs. I guess what I’m trying to say is that ‘Sepia’ is OK but not essential. If the new release schedule has a slow period during 2013 then I may possibly play it again…possibly…

Dave Bott

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