Gate 9 - "Moon Ranger Gone Evil" (Underdogma Records 2002)
From Aural Innovations #19 (April 2002)
Gate 9 are a Norwegian band who play a mixture of groovy stoner rock style stuff with heavier more Doom metal influenced stuff. But they do it very well. "Dwarves Of Might" opens the CD and has a slow groovy start and some great vocals. The singer has a very interesting voice and uses his range well. A nice spacey feel on parts of this opening number before the crushing Candlemass like riff hits you. "Autodidact" is a very Black Sabbath inspired doom metal song, which really takes off into a great upbeat jamming ending. I like the way the lead guitars are chorused together on the left and right channels, a very nice effect. "Queen of Hades" is a slow groovy song, not unlike some of the stuff by Norwegian band, Thulsa Doom. "La Strada Astra" is another great song and starts very slow, maybe a bit of Pink Floyd and then takes off with a flowing wall of sound riff. "Empress of Andromeda" is a slow heavy melodic number with a great rock and roll break in the middle and a great psychedelic ending. "Mantra of Doom" is just like the title says and reminds me of some of the moody numbers by the great Count Raven (RIP). "Vivid Void" is another heavy riff rocker with a great melody and some nice cool effects on the singers voice at the beginning of the song. "Slaves of Tide" and "Transmission Overload" finish off this excellent CD.
This is one hell of a debut CD and has a lot of good melodies, heavy songs, and I especially like how all their songs develop and may start with a slow doom riff or funky groove but they never keep it throughout the song and go off and try out different territory and come back to where they started. Nice job guys.
For more information you can visit the Gate 9 web site at: http://home.tiscali.no/magnaes/welcome_through.htm.
Reviewed by Scott Heller