Written by: Blackie Skulless
2018 saw Canada’s Gatekeeper indulge in the epic leanings of the traditional metal style on East Of Sun. Being a tougher approach to sell me on as is, I wasn’t overly impressed. Switching to the other side of the compass, From Western Shores would quickly change this, as the band not only sounds refreshed after five years, but also has matured and cemented their narrative in a more compelling manner. Coming in at almost fifty minutes, these eight songs pack loads of ingredients in nice and snug, without trailing off.
Naturally, a step forward in songwriting quality is realized, particularly in the album’s varying ideas. Moreover, stepping away from the Europower glazings from time to time helps, although its presence is still important for much of the runtime. Strong chorus melodies that insert themselves between beefy riffs and emotional solos become a vital part of the foundation. It pairs well with the tendency to progressively intertwine the different angles within the same song, showing Gatekeeper’s ability to transition smoothly.
We provide thoughtful reviews of music that wakes us from slumber. Written by a highfalutin peasantry.