|VII Gates - Fire, Walk With Me
01. Bounded by Hate
02. The Saviour
03. Seconds Left To Live
04. Under The Crossed Bones
05. So far Away
07. Love Bullet
08. A Dark Room Of My Mind
09. Like A Rock
10. The Madman Inside
Seeing bands like VII Gates are one of the reasons why I love being part of the Heavy Metal press community, I mean, last year I reviewed their excellent Demo, and now they are here again, with a record deal, and their first full length, entitled "Fire, Walk With Me", I like to imagine that maybe my review somehow helped these guys gettin' signed to Sound Riot Records.
Anyway, this is not exactly a "brand new" album, because most of the songs here are from their past 3 Demos, there are only 2 new songs, but of course all songs were re-recorded for the full length.
If you go back to the archives of metal Storm, you can read my review of their prior Demo, "The Madman Inside" luckily enough, all songs from that Demo are included here!
Let's began for some comparisons, last time I was impressed by the music, but one complain was the awful cover art of "The Madman Inside", well this time I have no complains at all, the cover art is just magnificent, and the new logo is also great, I'm happy for these guys, they really made an effort to find the correct cover art!
As for the music, what can I say? VII Gates doesn't stop amazing me, this is just wonderful! All songs are killers here, we got the opener "Bounded By Fire" a really fast and heavy song, reminiscent of Judas Priest; "The Saviour" already a classic, a fast paced song with an excellent accordion solo (!!) in the middle; "Seconds Left To Live", I can't get that chorus our of my head!; "So Far Away" what a great Power ballad!; "Tormented" another true metal classic! "The Madman Inside" a perfect closer, a truly Epic 7 minute song with a lot of tempo and mood changes, you'll think that you've heard 4 songs in 1!
For those of you who have heard any Demo of VII gates, let me tell you that is very different this time, the production is superb, some songs have new arrangements, and that really enhances the whole listening experience, and did I mention the special guest appearances by Chris Ammot from Arch Enemy and Kee Marcelo from the legendary Europe? Enough reason to get this album immediately!
VII Gates is on the path to greatness, that's for sure! They only need to prove that they can achieve this high level of musicianship once more, but that will be done later on their sophomore effort.
This album was released at the end of 2003, but I just received on January 2004, when my top ten list for 2003 was already done, but be sure that this is now on my personal faves of 2003, what a great record to close a year! Rock on VII Gates!
Recommended to all fans of Heavy Metal, to all fans of great music. At last! a band with the "VII" (or seven) in the name that doesn't play about dragons and medieval fantasies, for me the word VII as a prefix in the band name is one of the most used clichés in Metal, but this time, I'll let it pass.