Shining brightly from the metal scene in Switzerland comes a band by the name Gates Of Oblivion. This symphonic/gothic five piece give a refreshing sound to the genre and add some interesting little twists of their own into the mix with their new album, entitled "Mirrored Reflections." Musically it is full of ravishing piano riffs and wicked guitar solos and fills. The vocals come at you in a few different forms keeping things changing and always leaving you guessing. You'll notice some of the vocals are perfect while others are just hit or miss.
The album is opened by a short intro track, entitled "Into The Mirror." Whispers fill the air as beautiful synths take over the background. This slowly fades into "Sunscript." Gorgeous piano riffs begin to play as chugging guitars blast away with quick riffs behind them. The verse starts with dark growls delivered in an evil manor. This then switches over to clean female vocals that hit operatic notes. The female vocals sound pretty solid on their own but I feel that they do not mix well with the music. She jumps out way ahead of the guitars and drums and sorta pulls you away from the music. The guitars really pick up towards the middle of the track when you come across a magnificent guitar solo that'll blow your mind. Double bass pedals rumble behind you as your hit with this minute and a half masterpiece. The last round of the chorus has both the female voice and male growls layered on top of each other attempting a beauty and the beast type of sound however the female vocals just end up distracting you from everything else. They just don't seem to fit very well.
Then you come across songs like "Before The Sunset" and "Before The Sunrise" which are solid ballads where the female vocals go along perfectly with the music. Most of these ballads are filled with angelic piano riffs and ravishing strings that float gently in the background. Her voice really captures a strong image of each song and keeps you hooked from beginning to end. They even throw in some fantastic guitar solos that really put them over the top with breath taking melodies that will sweep you off your feet every time. You'll definitely find yourself going back to these tracks constantly.
"Twilight Angels" opens with some absolutely stunning piano riffs that are combined with some impressive drum rolls using complex tom and snare patterns along with punchy double bass pedals that'll have you bobbing your head right from the get. This track runs for over nine minutes long and is definitely worth every second of your time. The female vocals fit a lot better in this song as well as you'll notice that everything is more balanced. The detail in song structure will have you hitting the replay for sure. You're definitely not gonna catch everything the first time around. The guitar solos alone are just completely outstanding.
Towards the end of the album you're going to run into a song, entitled "March Through." This seven and a half minute track will have you hooked immediately with its catchy piano intro. It is subtle and yet has a very epic feel to it. Chugging guitars build up the verses with heavily distorted riffs that follow the piano right into the female vocals. Again, I feel that the female vocals work well with their surroundings in this track as well. It seems to be hit or miss with each track. As far as the guitar solos go, your hit with another amazing solo about half way through the track. The melodies that are thrown at you are just incredible and definitely hypnotize you deeper into the track. These solos are what will have you coming back for more and more. Also the drum rolls within each verse is insane. Each fill is different and yet equally impressive. This is definitely a must hear track.
It seems that the band had some on and off issues with the female vocals towards the beginning of the album but slowly fixed everything by the end. Perhaps there isn't even anything wrong with them, maybe it's just the mix that is really off. Either way they definitely came through in the end with some powerful tracks that made "Mirrored Reflections" well worth the listen. Gates Of Oblivion seem to be heading in the right direction so make sure you keep an eye on this group.
Official Site - http://www.gates-of-oblivion.com/
Myspace - http://www.myspace.com/gatesofoblivionmetal