"The Forbidden Gates Beyond"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Is there no end to kick ass metal bands from Chicago? Now we have America's answer to Bolt Thrower, hailing from the concrete canyons of the Windy City, and true to most Chicago bands, they are heavier than the engine block of a Terex dump truck. Not only that, but they boast the growling tones of a female singer...which detracts not one whit from the face-melting weight of "The Forbidden Gates Beyond".

A nominal comparison with fellow Prosthetic band Landmine Marathon could be made, but Black September doesn't hit the gas as hard as L.M. does. I would not call Black September a grind band...they focus on relentless medium paced stomp that comes very close to Bolt Thrower's recent output. There's also a feeling of majesty to tunes such as "Tyrants" and "Unleashed" that pretty much forces me to bang my head until I hear my vertebrae snap, crackle and pop. The album comes in at a pretty much perfect 36 minutes of measured, fat-free beatdown, with only brief instrumental "Hallows of Decay" offering relief for agonized neck muscles. It's a very efficient weapon of mass destruction.

Chicago strikes again! Will Black September join the ranks of Cianide, Lair of the Minotaur and Cardiac Arrest? Don't bet against it!