Anubis Gate - The Detached
Locomotive Music
Progressive Power Metal
12 songs (1:05:15)
Release year: 2009
Anubis Gate, Locomotive Music
Reviewed by Goat
Album of the month

It's great to come across a band which, rather than following the usual 'Power-Prog' formula of ripping Dream Theater off, actually plays a Progressive form of Power Metal, and Danish veterans Anubis Gate have managed to release four highly-regarded albums without registering much with the Power Metal glitterati. It's a shame, as The Detached proves; a complex, layered yet song-oriented album which has survived quite a few listens from my cynical ears now without a reduction in quality. Propelled mostly by guitars and vocals, there's plenty of room for keyboards as well, and the results never fail to be impressive - not rewriting the rulebook, but certainly doing their best from within, and fans of both Prog and Power Metal should find The Detached registering high on their best-ofs list for 2009.

Although it's my first encounter with the band and I can't comment on the inevitable 'ah, but 2007's Andromeda Unchained was far superior' posturing that denizens of our beloved forums will indulge in, it's hard not to sing The Detached's praises. Varied, catchy, headbanging, experimental Metal is all too rare these days, yet Anubis Gate manage to tick all the boxes, opening with more or less pure Power Metal in Find A Way (Or Make One) and as the guitarists take over for a spot of soloing, introduce the progginess gradually, the following Yiri hitting Prog Metal buttons as it focuses more on keyboards and gives vocalist Jacob Hansen a chance to shine before epic male choirs are brought in. It's worth mentioning how much like Queensr├┐che's Geoff Tate he sounds; a lot of people have been left disappointed by the erstwhile Prog Metal revolutionaries since, what, the early nineties? Queensr├┐che producing an album half as good as this would quickly see them regain status in the Metal world.

Instead, it's down to Anubis Gate to produce songs as good as ballad-with-balls Lost In Myself, or the crushing mixture of riffage and emotion that is Dodecahedron, and all the better for it. Heck, the band are even generous to throw in a Middle-Eastern oriented bit of percussion on Pyramids, some Therion-esque epicness added to create one of those stupidly amazing songs that never fails to put a smile on your face, even though it is over eight minutes long. Big heavy riffage, actually being used as part of a song? Incredible it may seem, yes, but Anubis Gate do it over and over again here, and that's what ultimately makes The Detached so good. Songwriting is the most important aspect of an album, and this band are on the top of their game, outperforming even Dream Theater themselves a lot of the time, which is praise indeed from a fanboy like myself - if the Danes included as much instrumental technicality they'd be getting little short of 100/100!

Progressive Metal is often dismissed as Heavy Metal with longer songs, and whilst there's a grain of truth to every cynical dismissal, Anubis Gate have more than proved their worth here. I can find nothing to criticise, even the lengthy running time - the band make good usage of every second, the likes of the two minute Ammonia Snow perfectly judged with the majority of time taken up by songs, not interludes. Although it's not an instantaneous album, it's an album that is soon hard to stop listening to... you'll never be bored, it's as simple as that, the closing songs like Options - Going Nowhere and A Lifetime To Share as good as the earlier ones. Album of the Month, and certainly capable of hitting my year-end list as a late entry. Recommended for all.

Killing Songs :
Find A Way (Or Make One), Yiri, Lost In Myself, Dodecahedron, Pyramids, Bloodoath, Ammonia Snow, Options - Going Nowhere
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by Anubis Gate that we have reviewed:
Anubis Gate - Horizons reviewed by Joel and quoted 92 / 100
Anubis Gate - Sheep reviewed by Alex and quoted no quote
Anubis Gate - Anubis Gate reviewed by Alex and quoted 78 / 100
Anubis Gate - Andromeda Unchained reviewed by Goat and quoted 88 / 100
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