- Gates Ajar
- Heavy Metal
- Sydney, Australia (Originally from Canada)
- December 20, 2018
This is one of those times where I got a tape just because of how awesome the cover looked. This is some fun straight out of the 80s and carries both the sound and mentality of the era with it. We’re talking heavy metal guitars and clean vocals about sex and BDSM. It’s dated but highly listenable.
They pulled it off well for 2018 by utilizing an acid tinged sound production that keeps the vibe from sounding too high and positive, it keeps a bit of an edge while often giving itself away to hooks and catchy choruses. It’s a tight album that varies across the tracks incorporating different ideals from glam rock, NWOBM, speed metal and even Misfits Famous Monsters era punk rock anthems. It’s on a bunch of formats but cassette feels right to me, given the context of the era this album explores.
This album appears to be made by two people, Paul Corben on the drums and Scarlett Monastyrski – the brain child and spearhead of the project doing guitars, vocals and whatever else there is on this record outside of drums. Though they appear to have a bassist for live performances which I can only imagine smells like beer and denim vests. This is both a tribute and an update to the classic metal genres that is executed with clarity and competence.
The project hints that this however is not the be all and end all of Sabir as they explain on their bandcamp page:
“This Mini-Album is meant and intended to be a “showcase” of what can be expected in future material. Sabïre is not and will never be a single dimension art experience. Sabïre has many facets, and will in future display more of and less of each facet, as well as emerge with new angles unknown to the author at the time of this writing. “Gates Ajar” is an attempt to give the listener an idea of what is to come. Each song explores a very different facet than the last, and is sewn together as harmoniously as possible.”
What this means for the future of the project isn’t clear exactly, so to whether there will be a departure from this or a refinement of this album which is by no means “mini”, it’s a solid tape with a good handful of songs. I hope they bring more sludge to into the mix because the low end of the music combined with the soaring heights of the old school sound is an alluring juxtaposition to me and brings a lot more intrigue to what would otherwise be a worship band. Instead Gates Ajar brings a bit of it’s own spin as well as the frontman’s personal music history.
They are clearly well learned in the old ways because he navigates the lyrics, vocals and guitars ridiculously fluidly for one person. There’s so many bands that sound similar to this that I just would not take the time to listen to, so it’s impressive that one person was able to both have vision and ability. The end result is something very fun that allows you to let your guard down and to live in the moment.
The quality of the tape is high, solid casing and nice transparent purple shell. The album art print pops just right, the coloring translates without flaw and makes a good addition to my collection of Australian metal tapes. It also arrived insane fast!