Destriers Gate - Hung, drawn, and quartered 3.5/5

Reviewed: 11-20-09


1. The end of tranquility
2. Breathing disaster
3. Our city sleeps in flames
4. Accolade
5. The iron march
6. Every dream a nightmare
7. Hands in treachery
8. Heat of the swarm
9. Those that demand surrender
10. Dissolution of scorn
11. Hung, drawn, and quartered

Destriers Gait is a Dallas, Texas band that formed in 2005. They describe their sound as a "...form of progressive metal with a mix of emotion and aggression...", and I would describe them as sounding very much like late-90s Swedish melodic death metal. It's nice to hear a U.S. band doing this without mixing in any lame hardcore elements which really sort of turned me off checking out potential new bands like this. I would say their sound is a mix of classic At the Gates with the melodic sense of early In Flames. There are plenty of musical elements that should appeal to power metal fans - as long as they can handle the death growls.

This is a very strong debut. The production is very clear and full without any signs of being over produced. The music contains very aggressive, catchy riffs coupled with tons of melodic hooks and harmony guitar leads. Power metal fans will also enjoy the killer melodic galloping sections that are sprinkled throughout the CD. The first proper song "Breathing disaster" has one of these galloping sections and it's simply incredible. The CD is a dark medieval fantasy concept CD, though I never really have been able to absorb lyrics from death metal CDs since I can rarely understand the vocals. This is the type of music that got me into death metal in the first place after not being able to acquire a taste for the vocals for years. The guitar melodies are simply fantastic and suck you right in.

The one thing that keeps this from quite reaching the "excellent" category for me is that it's just not very original sounding. If you are a fan of this genre, you've heard this type of music before - many times. Still, don't let that deter you from giving this band a shot. In 4 years they have already been able to pretty much perfect the style and this is a classy example of the genre. So if the vocals and aggression aren't an obstacle for you, then be sure to give this band your support.




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