Ok I had never heard Gateway before this, a one man band from Belgian Robin Van Oyen, but it had sat on the review list for a week so I thought “Hey, give it a go.. bit of doom death, what could possibly go… woorrng….”
Fuck. This is horrible. This is horrible in a thick, black, filthy way, in a Portal without those weird riffs but instead with a bass that thinks it’s the lead guitar way, horrible in an early Electric Wizard crushed under a howling avalanche of spot blackened granite way, horrible like first album Coltsblood dragged painfully and slowly backwards through Nortt’s mind way. Torture doom? Yeah. I’ll go with that.
Yes it’s fantastic. It crawls its way along on a distorted noise of guitar with the actual riff riding on the pushed up front bass and the huge echoing whisper-howls of the vocals. It is a massive sound. It fills any space, turns the room inside your head into a huge subterranean cavern dripping bile and ichor, fathoms below a desecrated church. Yeah this horrible thing conjures nightmares and honestly there is no higher praise.
There is a weird, unsettling energy here. An echoing howl. They can use pace, clattering full on death metal in passages but buried beneath this lake of tar. There is form, not just a shapeless scream, but the form actually shifts kind of Shoggoth-like and you get glimpses of the solid writing underpinning this whole unpleasantness. This isn’t some talentless noise, this is seriously malicious talent. The arrangements of the keyboard sounds and vocals, the use of guitar as a wall of distortion and the bass carrying the huge meaty sound is superb. It also should appeal, if that’s the right word…no, it should call to fans of Portal, Corrupted, Coltsblood, extreme sludge like Khanate or Burning Witch, old school death metal like Autopsy, Vircolac…
I’m dragged under. Something walks here that should never even have learned to crawl.