To have discovered Gateway with their eponymous work six years back was to know that you had stumbled upon a band that could very well entrench themselves into the annals of essential death/doom out of the underground with a next to one-of-a-kind sense and untouchable sense of heaviness that I’ve only seen matched from few other acts, but extremely fewer still were able to surpass it. In time, though, even Gateway was able to grow past their stellar debut to actually become a band that was a sensation in its own right in whatever corner of the underground that it touched, and any single listen would present to us precisely why that was the case. After a three-year hiatus that I wasn’t even aware of, Gateway returns to us with a bold new EP that not only continues that moment, but greatly expands upon it!
There are few things more disheartening to hear for music fan than to hear that one of the acts that they’ve been keeping an extremely close eye on for years has gone on hiatus, and I know for a fact I would’ve been devastated if I knew that Gateway was such an act. I was spared that pain, fortunately, and, instead, it’s with “Flesh Reborn” that Gateway returns to us after a mere three-year absence, the longest wait between Gateway efforts so far (which is far from a painfully long time, thankfully), and to say that this comeback is everything we could’ve hoped for from an EP would be to do a great disservice to what this Belgian act has accomplished in just four tracks. Granted, “Flesh Reborn” manages to milk those tracks for a glorious 26-minute runtime with not a single second being wasted as these purveyors of some of the best works of true nastiness in the realm of death/doom do not disappoint with the deliverance of immense riffs and a boiling intensity that both permeate the absolute whole of “Flesh Reborn” such that it’s even well after the work has come to an end that you cannot escape its utterly venomous power. Incredibly few acts have been able to deliver a performance like this even once, but it was with their debut that Gateway showed us they were immediate contenders to be one of the next acts to keep an eye on, and it’s after a string of EPs with this being the fourth that this creation cannot be considered anything other than staggering from top to bottom, and “Flesh Reborn” is just the disgusting treat of uncompromising ferocity that many of us have been needing more of with the return of Gateway being one of the only few instances that could’ve brought forth such relief.
With any amount of luck, this is just the start of Gateway’s proper return to our ears as three years was far from an extensive wait to hear more from the act, but it was a long three years regardless and with the massive increase in all departments that Gateway brought to the table with this release, how is grand anticipation not made for another helping by the time the EP properly works its way into your mind? “Flesh Reborn” is a creation the likes of which cannot be likened to many other instances across the entire spectrum of its style, and it’s with such mastery that we’re given a performance that cannot be understated nor denied as any soul that dares to listen to these four dark tracks are literally asking to be sucked into a whirlwind of bone, flesh, distorted life, and a truly unique breed of madness.
“Flesh Reborn” releases on May 7th via Chaos Records!
LISTEN to an advanced track from “Flesh Reborn” on Bandcamp here.
LIKE Gateway on Facebook here.