Entierro – The Gates of Hell (Self-Released)Monday, 16th October 2023
Fusing together the best of stoner, doom, and traditional metal styles, Connecticut’s Entierro has established a reliable presence (and need) for their material in the studio and across the stage. Releasing three previous EP’s and a full-length since arriving a decade ago (of which 2021’s El Camazotz EP was one of this scribe’s favorites), the quartet return with The Gates of Hell – another six-song effort that showcases supreme knowledge, proper band chemistry/interplay, and execution into the deep walls of old school metal brought to light for the current scene to treasure.
The fiery guitar techniques Victor Arduini and Christopher Bengal employ are as distinctive as they are complementary – engaging the heavy sensibilities during the main foundational riff moments yet trading off melodic to twin harmony aspect excitement for the instrumental lead breaks. Weave in the bottom end bass tightness plus groove to progressive shifts tempo-wise courtesy of bassist Christopher Taylor Beaudette and drummer Dave Parmelee and its easy to hear numerous British/European influences from that 70’s/80’s bank when groups like Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Mercyful Fate, and Rainbow were gaining massive traction through their works. Christopher stretches his normal engaging Danzig-esque delivery with a bit of higher note grit during personal favorite “The Lords of Rock and Roll”, while those who love gallop-filled riffs and a steady diet of gang-supported screams or triumphant fills supplementing the steady, anthem-oriented arrangement at play should savor “Under the Eye”. Self-produced while recording with Nick Bellmore at Dexter’s Lab Studios, this is another fine, full sounding record that warms the heart while keeping the focus on the musicians and their craft, keeping those extra studio tricks/effects to a minimum.
Killer cover art also sets the scene in more of a Stranger Things meets darker comic book atmosphere – proving that Entierro really think about the total package when it comes to the output for The Gates of Hell. Confidence is contagious – as is this material for those who love the purity of classic traditional heavy metal that proves this genre’s vitality isn’t going in hibernation anytime soon.