In glancing at our extensive previous commentary going back to 2015 on the music of Gateway, the most commonly occurring words have been variants on “titanic”, “obliterating”, “pestilential”, “skull-cleaving”, “abysmal”, “mauling”, “blood-congealing”, and “ghastly”. The phrase “appalling and abominable” popped up as well. There was also this pungent passage from our review of the band’s 2018 EP Boundless Torture, which still rings true:
Within the more heartless and slaughtering corners of the extreme metal underground there has been a decades-long competition to reach the deepest, coldest caverns of devastation and despair, and to weaponize the horrors found within the crushing pressures of those abyssal chasms. The Belgian one-man death/doom band Gateway has been one of the more dedicated and successful combatants in that race to the bottom.
But hey, as nightmarish as Gateway‘s music has been, it still gets its massive meat-hooks in the head. We even named the 12 1/2 minute title track from Gateway‘s 2021 EP Flesh Reborn to our list of that year’s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. It does take a special kind of talent to scare the shit out of listeners yet leave them compelled to continue listening again and again.
And now we have new Gateway nightmares to indulge, thanks to the album Galgendood that Transcending Obscurity Records will release on July 5th. The label promises “a catastrophe of biblical proportions”. We would expect nothing less.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll have noticed that a couple of songs from the album have already begun further ruining ruined minds in the public sphere. If you missed those, you’ll find them at the end of this feature. But we’ll first draw your attention to the third song we’re premiering today — “Sacrificial Blood Oath In The Temple Of K’zadu“.
Of course, it’s horrifying. In listening, it’s far too easy to imagine a monstrous beast stalking through cavernous depths and bellowing in a voice that seems deeper still. The groaning and pounding weight of the music is immense, and the shrill keening of the guitars finds an intersection of agony and madness. The riffing also writhes and swarms in corrosive tones, as if the beast is infested with disease and the scurrying of dog-sized lice.
The insanity in the music swells to hideous heights, as that abyssal voice explodes in terrorizing screams and the bass rumbles like an earthquake in the earth’s crust. The reverberative riffing boils and soars while the drums hammer away without remorse. The frenzy spends itself, and the music seems to toll like bells on Judgment Day, but shrill searing tones remind us that sanity remains vanquished.
With a final infliction of pile-driving trauma and hideous vocalizations, the song provides another reminder — that Gateway‘s music is also ruthless in its pulverizing, neck-wrecking power.
The cover art on Galgendood features a chilling painting by Pieter Bruegel the Elder, with additional illustrations by Martin Schongauer. Transcending Obscurity will release the album in an 8-panel digipak CD edition, and digitally, with lots of apparel options as well. The label recommends it for fans of Disembowelment, Coffins, Incantation, Krypts, Mortiferum, Spectral Voice, and Undergang.
Pre-orders and more info about Galgendood are available via the links below. As promised, you’ll also find streams of the two previously released songs “Scourged at Dawn” and “The Coexistence Of Dismal Entities“.
Main Store – http://tometal.com
Bandcamp – http://transcendingobscurity.bandcamp.com
US Store – https://transcendingobscurity.aisamerch.com/
Europe Store – http://transcendingobscurity.8merch.com