Skylark - Gate Of Heaven
Epic / Symphonic Power Metal
9 songs (51'53)
Release year: 2001
Skylark, SPV
Reviewed by Chris

After The Gate Of Hell, Skylark are back with the second part (and last ?) of their Divine Gates concept : Gate Of Heaven. Amongst the first thing that are quickly noticed are : first the artcover : magnificent artwork from Luis Royo (who seems to be very popular for Italian Power Metal these days). Unfortunately the second things that strikes (like a hammer !) is the medium production. Skylark is a band that has been around for a quite a while now and they still haven't managed to get a decent sound. It's not very bad, but it's far from being as powerful as most of today's Power Metal acts.

The album itself is pretty cool, with nice epic / symphonic songs in the vein of typical Italian Power Metal with maybe more attention given to the keyboards. No wonder since Skylark keyboards player is Eddy Antonini. Unfortunately his choice for samples is more than questionable, as it tends to sounds like a child's keyboard... giving a maybe too folky (little Trolls are dancing again in the dark ;) ) atmosphere to Skylark, but maybe it's on purpose ? Another very impressive area in their music is the fantastic guitars, good riffs and mind blowing solos, especially on one of the best song of this opus : Lady Of The Sky A solo that never ends, from very technical to very melodic parts, violin like guitar playing (really nicely done !!!!) giving back the hand to the keyboards in the end of the solo in the most appreciated of ways.

The weakness of the band, beside production is I think : their singer Fabio Dozzo. He's not bad, but their music would be so much more interesting with a more skilled singer Let's face it Fabio can't make decent high pitch screams and yet he tries every 2 minutes... too bad. As for the drumming, they are almost inexistent due to the production, and that's too bad because it sounds like it's very nicely played (if you listen carefully) and fast, but way too shy and "powerless" in the final mix. The songs are pretty cool and very catchy despite all that and they manage to deliver an emotion charged album that will please most fans of the genre and probably make their fan very happy. I, on the other hand, think that it is time for Italians to learn how to produce an album !!!!

A nice release that tends to repeat itself in the end (maybe because some songs are very, very long), but still a very good album to own for all Epic Power Metal fans. I believe that this band can do better than this, they have the right creativity level and very good musicianship. So for me it's obvious they need more powerful vocals and production With these two elements I'm pretty sure they could rival with Rhapsody and why not beat them in their own field. That's why I really hope next opus will see the light with a real production... What ? I can dream can I ? :)

Killing Songs :
Among The Clouds, Lady Of The Sky, Insanity Is The Truth & The Heaven Church.
Chris quoted 79 / 100
Other albums by Skylark that we have reviewed:
Skylark - Fairytales reviewed by Ian and quoted 60 / 100
Skylark - Wings reviewed by Jay and quoted 58 / 100
Skylark - The Princess' Day reviewed by Marty and quoted 79 / 100
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