Bullet Ride – At The Gates of Hell
Français Music Records
Release Date: 21/01/2022
Running Time: 47:35
Review by Victor Augusto
Hello my beloved friends! Welcome back to more confusing thoughts from a brain damaged Brazilian person. Today I got my first band to listen to from France since back in 2020, when I reviewed Sins of Shadows, and it is always cool discover to new bands from a country that has a great history of embracing Brazilian bands like Angra during the nineties (and also Kamala on their recent European tour). Today we have a very good debut album for those who love Power Metal, or maybe I can even say that we have in front of us a good mix of Traditional Metal and Power Metal, with a lot of extra heavy stuff to offer as well.
Melodic vocals are always a thing that can be a bit hard to talk about, at least for me. I personally don’t like it too much when bands use high notes all the time and I tend to prefer styles more oriented to what Ronnie James Dio used to do, not just with his voice, but for all the emphasis he used. Here, Emmanuelle Dal Grande does a great job on her vocal lines, working on a thin line between the high and not so high ranged notes. In contrast to this melodic way of singing, the rest of the band offer a few guttural parts, although it wasn’t always exactly well executed, for example in ‘Somewhere Else’.
These vocals sounded a bit powerless, sometimes even slightly annoying in places, although they fitted in well in some parts. But what is undeniable is the fact Emanuelle really knows how to create good vocal lines. Maybe with a little more improvement on the guttural parts, it would sound better. But the best aspect is how clear and understandable her words are on the more melodic parts. Even for me, a monkey Brazilian who barely knows how to speak my own language, I could perfectly understand most of the lyrics.
Musically, there are some great passages of heaviness and speed. I couldn’t exactly find the Thrash Metal references as the band mentioned in their press release, and I felt that there were more Death Metal influences, judging by the blast beats delivered by Thibaut Meunier, plus those guttural vocals as well. Nevertheless, don’t fool yourself – the main style here is good Power Metal, very much oriented and akin to Blind Guardian.
By the way, the guitar work of Alexandre Duffau and Hernandez reminded me in many parts of what we hear from those German masters, mainly on “Imaginations from The Other Side” and “Nightfall in Middle-Earth“. Things like the good technical solos, without the extreme abuse of speed, and not many melodies or short solos alongside the rhythm guitar, when the focus was supposed to be the riffs and not the melody.
From the opening song ‘World on Fire’ until ‘Eternity’ you will be fulfilled by some great heavy music, full of good moments and energy. In ‘All At Sea’ though, things calm down in terms of cadence, which is quite cool. Bassist Stéphane Laborde also has his space throughout the record, especially on the beginning of ‘Dead and Back’.
“At The Gates of Hell” is a good album despite not being my favourite kind of music. The highlights here are how they offer a good slab of heaviness and don’t let the melodic side become massive or boring. For sure, with more experience, they will be able to offer amazing releases, considering that this debut is already pretty good.
‘At The Gates Of Hell’ Official Video
01. World on Fire
02. What Comes After
03. Point of No Return
04. Somewhere Else
05. Weather the Storm
06. Naked Greed
08. All at sea
09. Dead and Back
10. At The Gates of Hell
Emmanuelle Dal Grande – Vocals
Alexandre Duffau – Guitars
Hernandez – Guitars
Stéphane Laborde – Bass
Thibaut Meunier – Drums
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