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TRACK LIST: 1. The Gate I 2:53 2. The Gate 2 8:04 3. The Gate 3 6:23 4. The Gate 4 6:09 5. The Gate 5 4:45 6. The Gate 6 6:56 7. The Gate 7 4:57 8. The Gate 8 16:22 All tracks: by BFH. Line-up: Maurizio Boco (B) - drums Lorenzo Feliciati (F) - basses Mats Hedberg (H) - guitars Produced by V. Bartoli at Pagina-3 Records. Engineered by R. Barillari at "Umbi" St., Italy.
Preamble. I have never heard of this project before in general and the members of it in particular.
The Album. A high originality and intricacy, an amazing eclecticism, hypnotism, and magic: these are the main riches of this all-instrumental album. To get them however, you should more than once enter each of the eight gates that they hidden behind, and the last of these gates are especially massive (see track list above). What's especially topical is that all eight of these gates are structurally different among themselves, so only those who are both adventurous and open-minded enough will be able to reach those riches. The contents of "The Gates" are not only very diverse, but also quite unusual. I'll list the stylistics of each of the tracks on the album, and you judge yourselves. The Gate 1: Proto-progressive Doom-Metal. The Gate 2: a triple alliance of Progressive Doom Metal, a guitar-based Art-Rock, and Jazz-Fusion. The Gate 3: Progressive Doom Metal with elements of a guitar-based Art-Rock. The Gate 4: a blend of Progressive Doom Metal and a guitar-based Jazz-Fusion with elements of a guitar-based Art-Rock and those of music of the East. The Gate 5: a guitar-based Art-Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion. The Gate 6: a blend of Jazz-Fusion and a guitar-based Art-Rock. The Gate 7: a guitar-based Art-Rock with elements of Progressive Doom-Metal. The Gate 8: A blend of Progressive Doom Metal and a guitar-based Art-Rock with elements of Jazz-Fusion, Classical Music, Waltz and those of music of the East. The first gate is the heaviest here: the music on this composition represents nothing else but a pure Doom Metal of a proto-progressive character, which, being filled with an almost materially sensible hypnotism, looks just like Sphinx - the guardian of burial-vaults of Egyptian Pharaohs. Try to clear this first hurdle, and your further headway - towards the riches behind "The Gates" - will most likely be both pleasant and successful. The third Gate will meet you with the ritual-like singing of a few men, though as a whole, this composition can hardly be regarded as song: otherwise it would've been the only 'singing gate' here. The charming Sitar-like solos wait for your ears on The Gate 4, and the passages and solos of acoustic guitar on each of the following three tracks: 5, 6, & 7.
Summary. Overall, all of the compositions on this album are unique and are masterpieces, though the 16-minute epic The Gate 8 is certainly the most diverse and intriguing of them. As for "The Gates" album as a whole, this is one of the most original albums (to say the least) that I've heard in the new millennium. Highly recommended to anyone who is far from thoughts that Art-Rock, Doom Metal, and Jazz-Fusion are incompatible genres.
VM: April 5, 2003
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