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Brimstone Gate – Return from the Brimstone Portal

brimstone gate – return from the brimstone portal

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Here we have the debut full length album from Germany’s Brimstone Gate, and it is a highly melodic mix of Blackened Death Metal. Created in 2020 by the members of Melodeath group Niflhel, Brimstone Gate is not as quite as Viking lore driven as the other project, but a similar sound that is just a bit faster and also louder, if not distorted. The music is anthemic and groove driven such as on ‘Voices of the Dead’ that still has that Death Metal drive but from the discernable bellows and pumping guitar riffs it just has a drive that isn’t really heard on Niflhel. Even the faster tracks that are Black Metal influenced like ‘Emperor of the Painful Realm’ have that anthemic stomp to it. Drumming is a bit lost here as the vocals and guitars tend to lead the way through most of the album, but ‘Return from the Brimstone Portal’ is by far not poorly produced. As said before, compared to Niflhel’s last album from 2019, this one is louder if not slightly fuzzier. There is even a little bit of a Grave feel to the music with the fuzz when hearing a track like ‘Return from the Brimstone Portal.’

For those looking for a fine example of Melodeath or Meloblack, ‘Path to Your Liberation’ takes the best of the likes of In Flames or even Old Man’s Child (minus the keyboards) and shows how the band takes some excellent melodies, hard and soft moments, and uses those top notch vocals for a blistering, yet engaging track that also includes some of the more crushing drumming. Then there are tracks like ‘The Void Darkened’ which are a little bit ‘meh’ because the pace is a little more lax and while the rhythms still in the Melodeath area, they just tend to repeat quite a bit and don’t have that ‘oomph’ the other harder tracks do. It takes until the guitar solo part which again is a bit fuzzed like Grave’s work to really get the track going. For a great slow track though, ‘Death Arises in the Wind’ churns along like an Entombed or Dismember track with less fuzz, and stomps like the army of the damned marching through the portal. Here everything shines in full formation: the guitars have the melodies, the vocals are monstrous and echoing like a battle cry, drums are fast but discernable rather than a rushing freight train click on the track, and even the bass can be heard through the noise. This one is probably the most anthemic track on the album all the way, unless one wants to count the choral drive of ‘Voices of the Dead.’

Brimstone Gate really have something going here. While a lot of their music is rooted more in the late 90s, early 2000s Melodeath area from the likes of At the Gates, Dark Tranquility, In Flames, with touches of some anthemic Deathcore bits such as from Winds of Plague, they mix it all together that it flows seamlessly without too much separation for one to say it sounds disjointed. ‘Return from the Brimstone Portal’ might not be the Viking ride to Valhalla that Niflhel fan’s might be looking for, but more of a anthem for mystical Armageddon that will appeal to them along with plenty of fans of more Meloblack or Melodeath. While not brutal like Cattle Decapitation, Brimstone Gate deliver their own form of brutality that is definitely worth hearing on a melodic level. Just listen to ‘Lost NIghtsun’ if one doubts their ability to be aggressive or guttural.

Brimstone Gate

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