Germany always seems to pump out some good metal. You've got Accept, Kreator, Helloween, Scorpions, Grave Digger, Sodom, let's face it... there's a slew of good bands from Deutschland and Sacred Gate are no exception. Hailing from the north, these German heavy metallers have released their debut album When Eternity Ends. They bring out their own brand of power-tinged heavy metal in full force.
Traditional heavy metal is one of those genres where you can't go wrong with. Sure, there are several others as well, but the parameters for trad metal can be so easily done that it's so hard to disappoint. You need the powerful riffs, epic vocals, and blazing solos; these guys sure have all of those.
Sacred Gate opens right out with music that pummels you. No frills or cheap thrills. The guitars just chug right along at a mid-paced tempo, very much in the vein of Judas Priest or Accept. The sound is just thick and immense, a nice wall of bass and guitars. There aren't any overly-complicated, technical riffs here, just the bruising meat-and-potatoes riffs that would suit the less eggheaded metal lovers. The riffs lay the foundation for the soaring vocals. The singer's voice has a nice original sound, he doesn't sound like a Halford copy. The singer's range is on the lower end, not quite baritone but sort of in the middle. Although, he does crack out some of those epic high notes that we all love to hear.
There really isn't a bad track on the album, nor are there really epic tracks that really stand out to me. However, that's not to be dismissive as the songs are really solid sounding. The title track and "Realm of Hell" are probably the most solid out of all of them. "Vengeance" has that bouncy one-note riff, giving the album a little more speed. They really take their songwriting cues from the old metal legends, "In the Heart of the Iron Maiden" screams a tribute to Abba- I mean, Iron Maiden.Not a bad thing, but a little bit of originality would be nice if they threw it in there once in a while.
With that being said, I've probably listened to this album several times all the way through, no track skipping. It's a good album to drive with if you've got a good amount of distance to drive, crack open a few cold ones with your buds, or simply if you're killing digital enemies on your gaming console. If you've got an extra ten bucks and maybe decide to buy a CD for once instead of that weekly dimebag, you wouldn't regret making this one.
No numbers anymore, folks! Read it, go listen, and decide for yourself.