Friday, August 25, 2017

Lyric Video Review: MAUSOLEUM GATE Solomon's Key by Dave Wolff

Solomon's Key
From their upcoming full length Into A Dark Divinity (Cruz Del Sur Music) scheduled for release September 8, 2017
Before reading about Mausoleum Gate and watching their latest lyric video, I thought they were another extreme metal band. However Solomon's Key sounded more like a retrogression to the pre-Black Sabbath era of occult rock. By now you have likely heard of Ghost and the pagan rock and metal bands like Dead Can Dance, Inkubus Sukkubus and Fields Of The Nephilim have been popularizing since the 1990s. But what I am referring to here is a movement that began in the late 60s/early 70s with dark psychedelic bands writing lyrics laden with occult and horror imagery. It’s an unsung but important chapter in the evolution of rock. The subgenre gestated at a time when Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist were successful in Hollywood and the indie industry was rife with too many exploitation films to mention. There was an almost obsessive attraction to this theme besides a plentiful amount of bands exploring it. Few of them broke aboveground but if you search Youtube you’ll find a host of them. Coven, who recently reformed for a new generation of fans, was the most well-known of these bands and are often credited for their long reaching influence on metal. By now you’re wondering what Mausoleum Gate’s role in this is. Hailing from Finland, they started as a classic metal band, composing raw, rousing songs in the vein of Deep Purple, Iron Maiden and old Virgin Steele. The band has a Youtube profile of their own, mostly live clips and rehearsal footage, and fans on Youtube have uploaded their older material (including their 2013 single Obsessed By Metal and their 2016 single Metal And The Night). I’d recommend checking some of that out first to get a feel for their evolution. While listening to their material from their early albums to the preview of their new album Into A Dark Divinity I could perceive a creeping progression from metal to occult rock. The latter was especially evident in the b-side to their 2016 single, a song called Demon Soul with an intro reminding me of Lucio Fulci’s movie Zombie. Solomon's Key shows Mausoleum Gate as an entirely different band next to their previous recordings. Not only are the lyrics reminiscent of the occult rock era but there are flutes and keyboards to enhance its psychedelic direction. Telling the tale of a magician who seeks ultimate power at the risk of insanity and damnation, the song is accompanied by graphic art from Yod Multimedia that enhances the vast expanse of darkness the magician is exploring in this tale. Into A Dark Divinity will be released in CD, vinyl and digital format; visit the video link for more information. -Dave Wolff

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