"Mausoleum Gate"

By Colonel Angus

I am really enjoying this trend of new metal bands that are shaping their sound around the early 80s traditional metal.  As I get more and more disks, I’m noticing that many of them bring back that sound without even a hint of anything remotely new metal (or nu-metal).  Mausoleum Gate hail from Finland and are fairly new to the scene.  They formed in the late 2000s and have only released a cassette EP and a 7’ record, both of which were re-released on CD.  This self-titled released is their first official full length disk and this bunch of Finnish metallers are off to a great start.

V-P. Varpula has a classic metal voice and his performance here is very reminiscent of early NWOBHM.  There is also a urgency in his singing that gives it that “I have something to prove” attitude and his vocals are one of the highlights of this album.  Count L.F. (what is with these names?!?!?!) and Kasperi Puranen provide some great riffing and soloing but always make the song come first.  They don’t overplay their guitars but instead give room for the vocals and keyboards to add to the tunes.  Just take a listen to “Lost Beyond the Sun” for a great example of this.  Speaking of keyboards, bassist Wicked Ischianus does a great job of pulling double duty on this record.  His keyboard playing really adds so much to the overall sound.  It reminds me a little of 70s Uriah Heap and Deep Purple.  Oscar Razanez is the final piece to the Mausoleum Gate puzzle, providing the drums.  Again, Razanez does not overplay but instead lets the songs shine.

The disk only consists of 6 songs but the saying “all killer, no filler” would apply.    Most of the tracks are a little longer with only 2 of them falling under 5 minutes.  Previously mentioned “Lost Beyond the Sun” and “Mausoleum Gate” are the 2 longer show pieces.  They have a bit of progressive elements but mainly stay in the traditional metal mold.  “Mercenaries of Steel” reminds me of early Iron Maiden or Tygers of Pan Tang.  Quite honestly, there is not a bad moment on the disk.  One thing that especially like is that they also produced the record to sound like it came from the early 80s.  If it wasn’t for that fact that these guys just came on the scene, I would have thought that this was some lost gem from the early 80s I didn’t know about.  Cruz Del Sur Music is releasing this album in October of 2014 but the production would make you believe it was October 1982.  When I closed my eyes and listened to Mausoleum Gate, I wastransported back in time to when metal as fun and still had that innocence of being new. I can’t wait to get their next record!