2 Sep 2013

Gates of Eternal Torment - Imprisoned Beneath the Ice of This Cold Black Void [Demo] (2012, Contaminated Tones Productions)

Little is known about Gates of Eternal Torment. Firthornn, the sole member in the band, hails from New Jersey, USA, and his lyrics seemingly draws inspiration from terminal illness, desperation and suffering. Gates of Eternal Torment released their first demo "Imprisoned Beneath the Ice of This Cold Black Void" in 2012 through US label Contaminated Tones Productions, a label that has a history of releasing black metal demos and EPs of the depressive and atmospheric kind.

Given the label's history one is hardly taken by surprise when the bastard tunes of depressive black metal fade in with "Dungeon of Tortured Souls". It is immediately obvious where Firthornn is coming from musically. It's a musical universe where acts like Burzum and Xasthur are king, and though there are a lot of different influences in the music it is by far the influence of the top dogs of the genre that shine through on "Imprisoned..."
Gates of Eternal Torment makes use of a few layers of instrumentation, usually comprised only of vocals, guitars and drums. By no means unusual, but used effectively with ponderous drumming and fairly long guitar tremolo-laden riffs.

It seems to be a general theme with Gates of Eternal Torment that it really is nothing out of the ordinary. "Imprisoned..." doesn't feel unique enough in a genre where there are so many bands, and the fact that it doesn't sound nearly as bedroomy as many others isn't enough to carry the music on its own. It's a good example of textbook DSBM, but it really is too much like some of the bands that have already been established within the scene. Apart from a few strange samples here and there it might as well have been an early Xasthur demo. The band has a lot of potential, and it's not the songwriting in itself that's lacking, but moreso the lack of cultivation. The band and the demo would benefit a lot from working out all the minor kinks and finding that thing to make it special and stand out. 6/10 guitars.

1. Dungeon of Tortured Souls
2. Imprisoned Beneath the Ice of This Cold Black Void
3. Upon the Rails of Terminal Illness (Part 1)
4. Where I Suffer

Contaminated Tones Productions official site

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