Patrons of the Rotting Gate: The Rose Coil

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Patrons of the Rotting Gate: The Rose Coil
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Patrons of the Rotting Gate: The Rose Coil
Progressive Black Metal
The Path Less Traveled Records
December 31st, 2013
Release length: 54:03
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Patrons of the Rotting Gate is a band that has surprised many since forming, simply by the fact that such elaborate performances are that of a single man: Andrew Ross Millar. With some aid from fellow guitarist Adam Irwin, this solo project comes to life as a vividly dark and oppressive Black Metal offering that isn’t afraid to throw some Death Metal influences into the mix. With critics and fans alike in awe of the potential this project brings to the table, it was expected that the debut full-length album The Rose Coil would receive the good deal of praise it already has. But is this really one of the more astonishing one-man projects, or is this simply hype over quality?

Well “TÅ™i ZávÄ›ti” definitely shows Patrons of the Rotting Gate baring its teeth. There’s a great deal of aggression from the drums (which are not from a drum machine mind you), keeping a consistent pace against the hostile blackened melodic riffs that aren’t too afraid to be fast and technical. Around the four minute mark that level of emotion gets thicker as the music shifts to a mid-tempo pace that doesn’t interrupt the flow, even when spiralling into blast beat fuelled chaos. While an impressive display of Black Metal prowess, it sadly is rarely used.

That chaotic start to “Carnassial” doesn’t last too long, catering to Djent-style chugging and bass so heavy and loud that it causes a hollow reverb effect that adds to the intimidating Meshuggah style crawl that sounds out of place. Thankfully it only shows up here, but that style does appear on other songs as well. “Chest of Light” starts off with the burdening groove approach, but eventually morphs into more of a Doom Metal performance, hammering away with some complex chords here and there, as well as glimmers of hope in the guitar work and some clean vocals for a short time around the five minute mark. And then there’s “Secrets in the Soil,” which drops that approach to become a trudging instrumental that carries itself like a Nile song, finding lead chords with a slight middle eastern touch and distant singing that is more ritualistic.

While there’s a large mixture of styles being included here, Patrons of the Rotting Gate manages to link everything together by transitioning from one song to the next in a way that makes the album sound like one extensive performance. You will rarely happen upon any real queues for the next track outside of a sudden shift in style that usually seems like a natural transition from the last song. “Carnassial” moves from slow-paced Djent or Groove Metal influence to a slightly faster performance that has a similar foundation that grows into a subtle middle eastern instrumental. Then there’s “Chest of Light” which shares some common ground with “Carnassial,” but segways into “Clandestine Fractures” flawlessly to usher in some Post-Black Metal melody, and even a hint of Depressive Black Metal around the song’s climax, moving into “A Perfect Suicide” by using some digital effects and beeping before a subtle gritty guitar solo kicks in to let the previous style mesh with an Avant-Garde blast beat driven Black Metal assault.

“…of All Eyes” is really where this album ends, but Patrons of the Rotting Gate has thrown in two additional cover tracks, both of which show some obvious influence to the sound present on this recording. “The Battle of Chamdo,” originally by Gorguts, is a solid cover that highlights the various shifts in pace, as well as desire for some atmosphere. The song itself is an excellent choice, and handled with great care while also adding a bit of unique flare to it, as well as the cover of the Technical Death Metal group Orgone‘s “Caress of Vines.”

The Rose Coil is definitely an impressive debut full of rich atmospheres and well executed shifts between Black Metal styles, and other genres of Metal in general. From performing all instruments to recording and mastering, Patrons of the Rotting Gate step right up and show you the potential that a one-man project (with a little help from a friend) can bring. Granted not all the slower groove-heavy cuts work out entirely, but there’s enough going on that you’ll still be hooked in the long run. With a limited run of one hundred CDs pressed, though will be available as digital media as well, The Rose Coil makes for a surprising send off to 2013 that demands you not only take notice, but also ingrain the name Patrons of the Rotting Gate into your skull.

01. TÅ™i Tváře – 1:04
02. TÅ™i ZávÄ›ti – 7:35
03. Carnassial – 5:29
04. Secrets in the Soil – 2:57
05. Pride in Descent – 5:46
06. Chest of Light – 7:09
07. Clandestine Fractures – 5:09
08. A Perfect Suicide – 7:28
09. His Crimson Painting – 1:33
10. …of All Eyes – 1:13
11. The Battle of Chamdo (Gorguts cover) – 4:55
12. Caress of Vines (Orgone cover) – 3:46
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Patrons of the Rotting Gate
Patrons of the Rotting Gate

Digital review copy of this release provided by The Path Less Traveled Records.