Gatekeeper’s epic new EP Grey Maiden plunges listeners into world of lutes, bards and dragons. Exploding out of Vancouver, Canada, Gatekeeper will find a home with fans of Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Blind Guardian, or any classic power metal.
The greatest strength of Gatekeeper is its intricate songwriting and over-the-top guitar riffage.
The epic twin lead of Geoff Blackwell and Kenny Kroecher are backed by atmospheric textures of uniquely crafted tone. Told in true Iron Maiden style power metal, “Richard III” is a great example of shining guitars. With a contrast of dirty desert rock tones and soaring atmospheric twin solos, this tune sells the richly crafted intricacies of Gatekeeper’s lute section. Track 3, “Moss,” further illustrates this individuality with Blackwell’s acoustic intro, showing strong influences of Blind Guardian and diverse musicianship.
Gatekeeper’s lead vocals of Jean-Pierre Abboud and backing vocals of Geoff Blackwell share a similar dynamic to Jon Schaffer and Matt Barlow of Iced Earth. The projections on “Moss” demonstrate techniques straight from Judas Priest yet tempered by classical choir-esque training. The transition between these textures demonstrates skillful control with a truly unique style. The title track “Grey Maiden” is also vocally dominant with piercing 80’s wails expertly blending with an orchestra of epic metal. Abboud sets himself apart as a vocalist with style reminiscent of obscure metal bands like Control Denied and Charred Walls of the Damned.
Intricate rhythms also set Gatekeeper apart as a power metal band, and it is especially true on their Grey Maiden EP. With a rhythm section consisting of Tommy Tro on drums and David Meddier on bass guitar. This is shown in the thundering intro to “Tale of Twins,” immediately catching and holding the listener’s attention with a powerful low end and chopping syncopation. The duo does an excellent job of holding down the fort while the twin lead guitars escalate over the fray. The second solo on “Richard III” shows this dynamic as the bass and guitar tones separate and you can really hear Messsier’s bass rise to the forefront.
If you’re a fan of uniquely expressed power metal, you’ll be right at home with Gatekeeper. Be sure to pick up Grey Maiden by Gatekeeper. Available now for digital download HERE!
Track Listing For Grey Maiden
1. Gray Maiden
2. Tale Of Twins
4. Richard III
Edited by Samantha Crocker