“The Third Eye Gate”

By Dr. Abner Mality

Florida’s Gnosis pay no attention whatsoever to any other trend in death metal…be it “nostalgic” or otherwise…and proceed to do their own thing on “The Third Eye Gate”. This results in a very pleasing record that comes across as very traditional and yet not unnaturally so. So many death metal bands claiming to be “old school” force the swampy Incantation style sound so much it hurts. Not so Gnosis. They are not out to have the muddiest guitar tone, play the fastest riffs or pay glaringly obvious tribute to Death, Possessed, whatever. They just play cool riff-based death metal that sounds rooted in the basics of the genre.

They play short, punchy songs all based on catchy headbanging riffs. No attempts to go into a mystical void by beating a riff into the ground for 20 minutes . We get a brief intro and then the ambient title track closes things with eerie synth. In between, it’s all business. Great riffs abound. “Temple of the Sea” is pure headbanging pleasure, but “Cult  of the Great Serpent” is just awesome. This is a song where classic metal and death metal collide, with the best aspects of both. I can tell Gnosis is well versed in the elder lore of metal like Sabbath, Priest, & Maiden. But they twist it to the dark side and take it up a notch. The vocals are very dark and “snake-like”….not guttural roars or mumbles, they are more like the incantations of a dark priest.

This is the kind of album that pleasantly sneaks up on you and embeds itself in the brain. A fine choice for fans who are looking for heaviness but maybe not total crushing noise.