GATEKEEPER is one of the hottest newcomers with an impressive – but truth be told, however uneven – debut album that stood right next to the second VISIGOTH album. The band wasted no time and not before a year had passed since the release of “East of the Sun”, a new EP was out.
“Grey Maiden” is a four song EP just to give a small taste of what is going on and keep the name around. And as I mentioned earlier though “East of the Sun” was an uneven album tangled between N.W.O.B.H.M., epic metal and U.S. metal, their newest stuff is more focused.
The first track “Grey Maiden” is a straightforward epic tune with an expressive guitar melody, lots of early IRON MAIDEN influences and a couple of references to the obscure U.S. underground (BROCAS HELM, BLACKLIST, OVERLORDE, BLACK KNIGHT). Quite interesting I’d say, and I really enjoyed the overall nostalgic atmosphere. “Tale of Twins” is a mid tempo tune that reminded me of 00’s underground stuff like SLOUGH FEG (yes there are a lot of SLOUGH FEG touches in the EP) or more lyricism in the melodies and dramatic vocal lines. Undoubtedly the best song of the EP.
“Moss” is an acoustic song, quite dreamy, eerie with lots of folk melodies and references to BLIND GUARDIAN (who else). Last but not least there is a fuckin awesome cover of “Richard III” from the N.W.O.B.H.M. band TREDEGAR, a very interesting selection since the band enjoys a cult status and this particular tune is their best. GATEKEEPER did a fine job covering the song and making it sound as if it was one of their own.
To sum up I’d say this EP is a very good idea of what is to come. Should the band work more on the stuff they presented in the first two songs of “Grey Maiden”, I do believe that VISIGOTH will have a hard time overtaking them.