Metal Bulletin Zine (est. 2006) is a metal music zine (Seattle region), online and on paper. 160 issues so far.
online pdfs available at www.fuglymaniacs.com
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Saturday, September 10, 2016
Mausoleum Gate (updated)
Metal and the Might
label: Cruz del Sur Music
Mausoleum Gate (Finland) is a band that plays young heavy metal: the sounds of the genre when it was young. This is a 2016 EP, which follows up their 2014 full-length album debut.
The music sounds like it is played by people who are confident enough to let the public hear the band as it really sounds. It's not particularly high-tech, robotic, clinical, loud and obnoxious, which means that the guitars, bass, drums, organ and singing have room to stand out and do their part in the songs. Specifically, the band's sound seems like a descendant of Deep Purple's classic "Machine Head" time capsule, which then is passed through the vortex of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. This EP has only two songs, but the general idea here is to link this EP to the 2014 self-titled album and presumably a second album coming up of the classic, young heavy metal: guitar harmonies, riffs, guitar solos, rumbling bass and drums that sound real, vocal melodies and singing, and an emphasis of the organ (hence the Deep Purple influence).
A word of caution, especially to new listeners: this music will require a bit of adjustment due to the band's rejection of modern music's tendency to go for a sound quality that is super loud in which the bass guitar is inaudible; and the riff has been abandoned in favor of the lesser-skilled, easier-to-play groove guitar. Of course, singing is often disdained in metal, and forms of shouting are preferred and praised, from the bands on down to the listeners and the publications. Thus, these songs will be very different from today's metal genres, styles and trends.
Their objective is to restore, remember and keep alive the idea that riffs, singing and good songs are the fundamental qualities for a band, as compared to more gimmicky tricks, like screaming and playing fast or slow for its own sake. In other words, if the most positive thing that people say about a band is that the music is "really heavy" or "very fast" or "so intense" or "very funny," then something is not right. People do not want to be rude or be negative, so they give a positive spin on things in life, like average music and musicians who do not have the skills, dedication and imagination to write memorable songs.
The modern mentality is not something that this band shares. Some will complain that this sounds too old or not extreme enough or something else along the lines that says that this is simply too antiquated. Be that as it may, but it is not a different genre from classic Deep Purple or vintage NWOBHM Angelwitch or Diamond Head. In other words, Mausoleum Gate is the sound of young heavy metal. If by "old" people mean tired, lethargic, or unimaginative, this is certainly not that. The recording techniques, philosophy or equipment might be different, as it is the band's statement on the condition of today's metal music, but they sound excited and creative to be doing what they want, knowing full well that they stand out and that they will be accepted by some and rejected by others for going against the established practices of today.
If honesty and human qualities in music interest you, dedicate some time to this band, who want you to hear the sounds of vintage heavy metal from today.