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Monday, Dec. 19, 2011

Anubis Gate

Anubis Gate (Nightmare Records)

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Heavy metal—with its countless sub-genres and broad musical definitions—rarely escapes being maligned in some musical circles. But then along comes a group like Anubis Gate. Although considered a “prog/power-metal” band by its four members, these Danes deftly bridge traditional metal with a darker and more epic sound without succumbing to numskull metal clichés. Vocalist/bassist Henrik Fevre sings well within his range, and lead guitarist Jesper M. Jensen rarely shreds, opting for a more expressive style.

Drawing comparisons to Vanden Plas, Iced Earth, Queensrÿche and Fates Warning (and taking inspiration from the likes of King Crimson and Genesis), Anubis Gate opens its self-titled fifth album with “Hold Back Tomorrow.” The soaring cut features atmospheric piano and smart riffing, and it embodies the band's melodic sensibilities that can be heard throughout this hour-long album. If Journey played metal, it would no doubt sound like this.