Skylark - Divine gates part l/Gate of hell 4/5

Reviewed: 9-23-05


1. Intro
2. Welcome
3. The triumph
4. Belzebu
5. The last question
6. Earthquake
7. I can't find love tonight
8. Satan arise
9. Why did you kill the princess
10. Lift for the sky
11. Dance of stars

‘Gate of hell’ is the first of a 3 part ‘Divine gates’ series by the great neo–classical metal band Skylark. Skylark has 2 previous, excellent, CDs which were both plagued by poor, but improving, production. The production on “Gate of hell” isn't perfect, but it is so much better than it was in the past that it no longer detracts from the quality of the CD. Skylark's style is exactly the same on this CD as in the past. Mostly heavy with many softer moments, the sound features heavy guitars but with band leader Eddy Antonini's great, classically influenced keyboard playing taking the foreground.

The structure of this CD is a little unusual. The beginning and the end feature fairly long (7 to 9 minute) tracks, while in the middle there is a collection of 4 tracks which only total about 10 minutes together. There are 3 absolutely phenomenal tracks on this CD, “The triumph”, “Why did you kill the princess” and “Dance of stars”. All 3 are lengthy tracks which feature strong melodies and some excellent keyboard instrumentals in the middle. Overall, this CD has a little less of Eddy Antonini’s excellent keyboard instrumentals, but they can be found in some of these tracks – this is evidence of Antonini’s maturing songwriting, as he’s able to get the various parts of the Skylark sound fitting better into the normal song structure.

‘Gate of hell’ shows Skylark finally putting everything together. The production isn’t great, but it is good and it is a huge improvement over the first 2 Skylark CDs. The songwriting is as strong as ever and has a good combination of being outside the generic pop structure for a song, but still keeping the song structures a little more controlled than they were on the first 2 CDs. Singer Fabio Dozzo continues to get better with each CD to the point that he can finally be considered to be a positive for the band. This is clearly the best of the first 3 Skylark CDs and is a very, very good CD with an original sound.




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