CD REVIEW: Hellgate - Hellgate EP
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Hard Rock, Alternative Metal, Hard Rock
Weakness: More Solo Segments, More Vocal Harmonies, EP Release, Over the top cover art
(RONAN, MT) Joel Floyd West and drummer Jordan Sean learned about the powers of Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll as early as age 7, when they would... sneak into Sean's uncle’s room, and go through old KISS records and stacks of Hustler. By age 14 they were introduced to drugs and booze. Haunting grooves, aggressive hooks, and seductive textures describe the organic, formulaic delivery that HELLGATE has to offer. Their latest self-titled EP features Joel Floyd West: Guitar, Vocals Scott Daniels: Bass Jordan Sean: Drums. Musical style: Genre:Goth/Metal/Grunge/Rock.
The CD kicks things off with a cool into piece “Death of Faith” a melodic yet hard hitting follow-up piece that serves up driving rock rhythm against aggressive guitar attack, meshed with impressive solo guitar and captivating melodic vocals from West that flows and ebbs its way through emotional fruition. Track 2 “Dead Ones” keeps it rocking with hard hitting guitar coupled with an amazing guitar solo and dynamic twists and turns like a violent tornado making for an impressive follow up statement. Track 3 “Fade” serves up a creepy, passionate full tilt groove, with methodical intro, impressive feel against heart felt vocal delivery and thought provoking lyrical content. As the CD slowly unfolds I can hear many different musical textures reminiscent of classic Metallica, System of a Down, Alice in Chains, Korn, Blue October, Dashboard Confessionals, with perhaps a dash of 5 Finger Death Punch. Fans of Hard Rock of the late 90's will thoroughly enjoy this CD. As the CD slowly unfolds you will notice most of the songs are very dynamic, passionate and full of musical peaks and valley. All in all this CD has some truly impressive moments on it showcasing impressive writing and lyrical content, with impressive musicianship to boot. The impressive three piece is not easy to pigeonhole. West's passionate baritone works well within this catalogue as he holds the melody line extremely well. He also brings intensity and power. Vocals from West delivers everything you would expect from a singer within this style of music. West also plays guitar and reminds me of Aaron Lewis (Staind) and (Serj Tankian) System of a Down. West is clearly the marquee talent within this unit. All songs are consistent musical experiences, and packed to the hilt with everything you would expect from a world class Hard-Rock release. All engineering's aspects check out. CD Possesses crystal clear high end clarity and thick low end frequency. HELLGATE (EP) is definitely a fully loaded 8 track EP teaser that showcases some amazing chops, thought provoking lyrical content, and short and sweet songs. This band is a little dangerous and not to be underestimated. All songs are sung from a deeply honest perspective that is 100% pure and genuine. From dynamic “Laceration” to full tilt “Dear Me” to melodic “A Doll’s House” this CD has someth8ing for just about everyone. The CD ends with 2 Radio friendly version of Laceration and Fade.
I wish there were more solo guitar segments throughout the EP and a few more vocal harmonies to mix up the vocal delivery a bit more. I typically deduct 1 star for EP releases, as the full length CD is the most complete snapshot to judge an artist by. Cover art is a bit over the top and extremely overcompensating.
Hellgate EP by Hellgate is an impressive 8 Track musical production from start to finish. The music is clean but heavy, but goes down smooth, with passionate messages that are sung from a deeply honest perspective. Like the aforementioned - fans that like the hard hitting 90's rock will love this CD. Its strong suit – the solid melodic consistency from these 4. I especially like how West carries the melody line on most of the music. There isn’t a weak song anywhere on this entire EP. In the end it proves good Alternative Hard Rock is still alive and well in Montana. I look forward to hearing even more material from Hellgate hopefully later on this SUmmer.