BLOODGATE - SOLACE IN MOURNING
SHORT, SHARP AND FUGLY
First impressions and all. With that album title and morbidly hallucinogenic sleeve art, this has all the tell-tale markings of abyss-like, slo-mo blackened doom written all over it. But then, never judge a book by its grim cover because Bloodgate play raw, low-fi, and dementedly feral warp speed death metal.
And yet, even that is an over-simplification. By two or three tracks in, Solace in Mourning seems to be a grimly sub-zero homage to lost-in-the-woods Scandinavian BM with seething, pell-mell, rattling chilliness. But this blurry, fetid cacophony is actually – and admittedly this might be completely incomprehensible to any normal civilian – a possessed blender of sub-genre influences where freezing blasts of BM bleakness merge with its dingy punky origins and ugly basement death metal and even grindcore. Moreover, it walks a line between frostbitten blackness and DIY playing-in-a-dive modern slamming. But wait, there is another twist. As the record frantically tears through its tracks though there develops a fleeting yet discernible – as well as twisted and inebriated - rock n roll vibe that occasionally emerges. In fact amid the sonic havoc there is even something approaching tunefulness and an unmasked love of the riff. Tome of Blood has an overtly undulating headbanging groove, and Withering has an unexpected rocky solo. It might not be the dominant feature of the album which is undisputedly rough and cold but still evident.
But let's not digress too much because Bloodgate are just really, really noisy and this is whirlwind chaotic ferocity. Their main is gear is hyper-fast snare abuse and the vocals are mostly choked rasps and possessed pan-fried screams. The whole barbarous frenetic outpouring is a short, sharp blink-and-you-miss-it rampaging bloody racket and it’s encapsulating with a DIY / live aesthetic.
Check out Bloodgate's bandcamp: https://bloodgateoh.bandcamp.com/