POISONED - Beyond the Gates of Fire (FALLEN TEMPLE - CD 2016)
Couple of years ago we’ve been treated with a nice split CD titled “Raw Torments of War”, which presented us two Polish beasts Persecutor and Poisoned. I’ve enjoyed it sincerely, so now I’m glad that one of these bands is back with a full length album. I’m talking about Poisoned. “Beyond the Gates of Fire” is their debut album and well, I’m sure that it will be an enjoyable stuff for all die hard old school metal maniacs, as surely it is something worth of their attention. But first off, let me say that I really like the whole presentation of this CD. The artwork and layout is superb and fits this music so damn well. It’s simple, but the frames, graphics, band photographs and even the lettering - all look great. I like it a lot, because I tend to put a lot of attention for the visual aspects of every release I get as well as for the lyrics. This is something people who only care for mp3’s will never understand I suppose haha. But that’s their problem and something to discuss on another occasion. Here we’re gonna speak about Poisoned and “Beyond the Gates of Fire”.
Musically this album is, as I already wrote above, kind of a feast for old school metal maniacs. Poisoned sounds almost archaic and this album, with the songs it contains and with this sort of production, feels like something that was taken from old archives, recorded maybe 25-30 years ago. And if this is what Poisoned wanted to achieve with their sound and music, then they surely succeeded. The production is the only thing, which I have to really complain about. It should have been a bit more energetic and aggressive, as it’s a bit dry and the guitars sound terribly thin… but that’s rather minor complain, not something disastrous. Besides, this sort of sound just fits this old school death / thrash metal. The music has that vibe, which you can find on albums like “Seven Churches”, “Hell Awaits” or “Darkness Descends”, it also reminds me such “Necrolust” demo (I have to say that the vocals sound quite close to Peter’s) and some more old Polish recordings, like early 90’s demos. And I don’t necessarily mean the strictly stylistic aspects, but sometimes it’s just the feeling and aura of the music or character of these riffs and vocals. All songs are really no bullshit and not even for a second they try to step away from the classic death / thrash formulas. Their poisoned riffs must sound sharp and aggressive, the drumming is rather simple, the solos are sick… It is often fast, but don’t even dare to think that it’s modern blast beat type of fast death metal.
Honestly I feel like “Beyond the Gates of Fire” is very easily listenable and you’ll get into it instantly. It doesn’t require anything else than a cold beer in one hand and skulls banging crazy. I cannot say that this is the most remarkable album in the old school death / thrash field, it lacks a bit in my opinion, to sound truly crushing and powerful. But it is not that bad also. I quite enjoyed it.
Final rate: 70/100