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(46:32; Drabant Music)
In 2017, the band were back, much to the delight of their fans, and were soon back in the studio. After the release of an EP, they returned in 2018 with their first new studio album in fourteen years. Gunnhild Sundli, Sveinung Sundli and Magnus Bormark were still there, and they have now been joined by Jon Even Scharer and Mats Paulsen on drums and bass. In some ways this is a new band, and in others they are exactly the same. It’s like Purple being the same guys who wrote and performed ‘Who Do We Think We Are’ and ‘Perfect Strangers’ but the experiences in between had changed them, so the sound was never the same again as it couldn’t be. For Gate, they had become more polished and less angst-driven, and it is as if all the sharp edges have been rubbed down carefully and made safe. There is less naivety, angst and pure anger and instead there is a great deal of polish and care. They are no longer living on the edge but are sat back safely away from it lounging in comfy chairs. There are times when the old Gate are back, allowing Gunnhild to hold court against all comers, but overall this is an enjoyable album as opposed to one which is essential. It will be interesting to see what happens next, as it is quite possible that the cloak of respectability will be shed when they are in the live environment, and the next album could be rougher and more raucous. I hope so, but this is still a solid release although not nearly as essential as the others.
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