Eterna - The Gate
Scarlet Records
Power / Prog Metal
12 songs (70:33)
Release year: 2002
Eterna, Scarlet Records
Reviewed by Mike

This is the third album from this Brazilian band. I haven't heard anything from this band before, but I can tell you that they feature two different singers (both of which are new to the band, I believe) which adds an interesting dimension to the album. It's one thing to worry about finding one quality singer for your band, but Eterna have managed to recruit two very good singers.

The Gate features some very interesting song structures. The guys combine elements from epic, power, speed, and progressive metal without sounding chaotic in the process. The music is keyboard drenched which gives the album a progressive feel, but the keyboards tend to dominate the sound on many occasions. I hear a lot of great guitar work, so I really think the band should allow that talent to shine a bit more. Like I said above, the vocals are just top notch. Both singers (which are very similar in style) have emotional voices and are able to hit and sustain the higher notes with ease. In fact, check out the ballad, Living Word if you want to hear both vocalists put on a fantastic performance. This album features a pretty good balance of mid tempo songs, speedy songs, and a couple of ballads which gives the album a nice balance. The mid tempo songs really capture the more progressive side of the band with thick keyboard textures and some fitting synth work. The speedy numbers capture the powerful and epic side of the band. Personally, I prefer the faster songs since the emotional vocal delivery adds a nice epic feeling to these songs. If the band were to choose a more direct path to take their music, I would much prefer the epic-speed path.

Eterna's drummer is very talented in the sense that he is constantly pounding with furious energy and is anything but robotic, but the production as for as the drumming goes is atrocious. With the number of power and prog metal bands out there these days, I think it is crucial that the producer makes the band sound the best he possibly can. Otherwise, the most talented band can sound rather lousy to the ears with poor production. The drummer is quite good, so it's a shame that the production job (or lack thereof) is really no better than demo quality with respect to the drumming. This is one of the first things I noticed about this album, but a few songs into the album, it really starts to annoy me and detract from the album as a whole. The over indulgence of keyboards is something I'd like to see fixed, but the production has got to get better. There is some talent to be heard in this band, but the producer has to bring it all together. The Gate has failed in that respect. This may sound a bit harsh, but remember that there are so many power / prog bands out there. Therefore, you really have to sound your best in order to get noticed and compete with the many bands out there with at least decent production.

The Gate has several interesting compositions and shows me that this band has some talent, especially in the vocal department. Unfortunately, the production makes this album a very tedious listen for me and so I can't recommend this as a blind buy. If you really don't care about production and love prog metal with epic and power overtones, you will surely be satisfied. However, if you take into the whole package into consideration, you might want to check out a sound clip before spending the money.

Killing Songs :
Sea of Lights, Entrance, Forgive Me
Mike quoted 70 / 100
Other albums by Eterna that we have reviewed:
Eterna - Terra Nova reviewed by Marty and quoted no quote
Eterna - Papyrus reviewed by Chris and quoted 61 / 100
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