Cans - Beyond The Gates
Heavy Metal
12 songs (51'26)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Danny

Following the road opened by Stefan Elmgren - Hammerfall's guitarist - Joacim Cans releases next week his personal solo album. The voice of Hammerfall did not fall in the trap, delivering a honest heavy metal record. Let's resume it track by track :

Fields Of Yesterday : Just after the orchestral start, the heavy rhythm of this track reminds you Judas Priest. This is a smooth start, nothing to compare with Hammerfall. Heavy and atmospheric are the words that come to my mind. Jociam's voice is just ... great.

Soul Collector : A faster track compare to the opener, but the tempo remains really heavy. Without any doubts Judas Priest comes again to my mind. The chorus is doubled with backing vocals, creating depth ... and reminding me Peavy's song-writing (Rage). Once you get to the guitar riff, it stays in your mind for a long time.

Red Light : The beginning of the song knocks like Manowar and the heavy rhythm encountered on first two track continues its way. After three songs, Joacim's solo album stands far away from the true metal music played by Hammerfall.

Back To Hell : Like it was the case on Soul Collector, the tempo is faster. Rage and Accept come to my mind. I haven't mentioned it yet, but Joacim does an hell of a job behind the microphone. His voice changed so much compare to the first Hammerfall. The chorus - doubled again - has an Accept trademark.

Beyond The Gates : The title track of the album is a ... power ballad. Nothing new, nothing special, nothing bad either. A typical power ballad from a heavy metal band. I will just mention the magical voice of Joacim (once again) and the doubling chorus in the back (Accept, Russian Roulette album). The track goes "faster" as the end approaches and the "orchestral" chorus takes the lead.

The Key : Heavy, catchy, melodic. The bridge and the chorus of this mid-tempo track are very interesting. Once again Joacim astonished me, along with the backing vocals used for this track. I like also the break in the middle of the song - the marching soldier drums - and the guitar solo following that break. I can't explain it, but this track reminds me ... Queen.

Garden Of Evil : Another mid-tempo track where all the focus has been placed on the atmosphere before and after the chorus. This track is once again far away from Hammerfall ... and this is what I like on Beyond The Gates.

Merciless : Here again Accept rings the bell. The usual rhythm and chorus lines used by the German band in the 80's makes me wonder if Joacim is not the biggest Accept fan inside Hammerfall.

Silent Cries : Another mid-tempo track reminding you Garden Of Evil & The Key. Nothing really new, even though the chorus lines is pretty cool.

Dreams : I like this track, with the piano doubling the rhythm of the guitar. Once again Mr. Joacim demonstrates his talent. This song is very different from the rest of the album. I think this is the reason why I like it so much.

Signs : Do you like Rage ? If so, you gonna fall for this one :)

Forever Ends : The ballad of the album. As it is the case with Hammerfall's ballad, the guy knows how to use his voice to transmit emotional feelings. Well done.

Beyond The Gates is good and honest heavy metal release. Most importantly, this album is far away from Hammerfall. The production is good, reminding me Evergrey's sound (dark). The only critique I would make is the lake of risk taken by the artist ... as many songs are repetitive (tempo, rhythm, chorus, ambiance). Considering Beyond The Gates is Cans' first album and considering the vocal performance, I recommend you to check this one if you are a fan of Accept ... or if you dislike Hammerfall's music.

Killing Songs :
The Key !!!
Danny quoted 80 / 100
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