Affliction Gate unveil their elegant death metal on the cheerfully titled 4 tracker, Dying Alone. A sophisticated take on the classic template – indebted to its forefathers but never hemmed in by them – from the first second they boast memorable tremolo-picked melody lines and a mid-register vocalist with great diction.
So far, so good.
Affliction Gate blatantly eschews brutality for handsome mid-tempo grooves and the band grab and hold your attention with percussive rhythms that modulate and evolve behind the riffs. Add to that a nice clanky bed of bass, and a single guitarist who peels off solos that walk the line between old-skool and new, Dying Alone is filled with character and evocative sounds and is thankfully devoid of soulless shred.
Dying Alone nips by damn quickly. While there’s nothing on here that you haven’t heard before, Affliction Gate have a canny habit of sticking with the genre traits that work best and avoiding those that suck ass. The result is a slice of traditional death metal with a modern sheen, so upbeat and engaging that it almost seems at odds with the gloomy title and morbid cover art.
Affliction Gate haven’t changed our lives or the way we look at music but they sure as hell put a smile on our faces! 7/10