Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Gonoreas - "Minotaur" (Art Gates Records, 2018)

Band: Gonoreas
Title: Minotaur
Genre: Heavy Metal with various Metal influences
Year: 23rd February 2018
Time: 45 min
Rating: 75/100

Today I'll review an album that doesn't really belongs to the old-school extreme metal standards of this 'zine, even though, as you'll read very soon, it's an album with a lot of different metal influences. It's called "Minotaur" and is even the 6th full-lenght album by Gonoreas, a Swiss band born in 1994 as The Gonorrheas, moniker changed 6 years later in the current one. In according to Metal-Archives, "Minotaur" was released through different formats by two labels (the Serbian Miner Rec and Rubicon Music, that published it for the Japanese market). To say the truth, there are no traces, on that website, that also the Spanish Art Gates Rec released the new album by Gonoreas after signing them some time before. In fact, I've got the physical CD promo of "Minotaur" by Art Gates thanks to its boss, Ivan Magdalena!

Apart these details, "Minotaur" consist of 10 tracks (included the intro "Blackstones") in which there is basically a kind of heavy metal characterized by the powerful and expressive vocals à la Bruce Dickinson of the Brazilian singer Leandro Pacheco, very fast guitar solos and a great inventiveness and dynamicity. This mean that the songs are really different thanks to various influences able to touch genres like speed metal, thrash metal, power metal, doom (I like a lot the slow '70s doom riff in "Price of Eternity"!) and even a little of...DEATH METAL as in some dark moments of "Fragments"! The same Leandro is very good to add more variety and atmosphere by screaming sometimes like a Brian Johnson-clone (the same titletrack, for example) while he is able also to growl and to scream violently, as well...and this happens more than you can imagine! At this point, I think that "heavy metal" is only a comfortable definition to describe the music of Gonoreas but it's also true that their style isn't a chaotic mess of many confusing influences since it is hard but melodic, dynamic but basically focused on the mid-tempos, and also old-school but modern at the same time. And, anyway, don't forget that the Swiss metalheads plays often very strange stuff since the times of Hellhammer/Celtic Frost, so Gonoreas aren't an exception in the innovative Swiss metal scene!

About the two parts of "Minotaur", I largely prefer its first one. This because it contains the most violent songs of the album, surely my favorite ones: I am talking about "Seeds of a New Future" and the following "Puzzle" (video above).

More specifically, "Seeds of a New Future" is the fastest song of the tracklist and it follows the intro "Bloodstones", in order to already give the right intensity to the album. Instead, "Puzzle", that it's a more mid-tempo oriented number, is memorable for an ultra-fast and aggressive power/thrash metal outburst with an incredibly rapid guitar solo.
At the contrary, the second part is more mid-tempo and also atmospheric since the presence of two acoustic tracks: "Behind the Wall" (a true ballad, sang by the bassplayer Pat Rafaniello, whose the band made also a video) and the instrumental "Transcendence". But unfortunately, I believe that the last "The Lead Masks of the Vintem Hill" isn't so effective to end the album because it has some short and abrupt fast parts that could be developed better for a really explosive finale.
In general, "Minotaur" is a remarkable album, especially during its first part where there are songs like "Seeds of a New Future", "Puzzle" and "Price of Eternity". Instead, the second part could be fastest in order to be really intense and effective. But, anyway, this album express a very personal kind of heavy metal, so Gonoreas deserves respect also only for this. Said my conclusions about the album, Gonoreas are going to continue their "Minotaur Tour 2018" that, started on 24th March, will end on 3rd November touching countries like Hungary, Croatia, Austria, Bosnia & HerzegovinaSwitzerland and Spain. Additionally, on 30th June, they will share the stage with monsters such as Iced Earth! LET'S GO TO ROCK!!!


1 - Bloodstones
2 - Seeds of a New Future
3 - Puzzle
4 - Eris
5 - Price of Eternity
6 - Fragments
7 - Behind the Wall
8 - Minotaur
9 - Transcendence
10 - The Lead Masks of the Vintem Hill


Leandro Pacheco - vocals
Damir Eskic - guitars
Pat Rafaniello - bass
Stefan Hösli - drums

Art Gates Records:

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