I was excited to see this album promo arrive in my media download pool. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the chance to spin it right away and it got put aside and forgotten with the travel of two weeks, two festivals in Sweden. The album was released by No Remorse Records on May 25, 2018. I present a wicked slab of NWOBHM with TRAITORS GATE – Fallen.
TRAITORS GATE – History
The band formed in the early 80s in the UK, issuing their EP, Devil Takes The High Road, in 1985. Quite a few live gigs were played, but that would be all for Traitors Gate, disbanding in 1989. Reuniting for a one-off reunion gig at Brofest 2017, they soon became in demand. After almost 30 years, Traitors Gate came back in full force with an independent EP, Only The Strong, in 2017. And now this debut full-length from the band that started in the early 80s. For those keeping track, that’s well more than 30 years for the debut to see daylight. No time like the present and better late than never I guess they say.
I was at that event at Brofest 2017 but prior to that, I was basically unfamiliar with Traitors Gate. They were fantastic at Brofest and I look forward to diving into this album.
TRAITORS GATE – Fallen
**It seems that half of Traitors Gate – Fallen is constructed from the Only The Strong EP. The EP cuts appear every other song, starting with the opener.
We begin with a rainfall sounds lead-in ahead of the rhythmic opening riffs of “Retribution”. The song grinds along in a mid-paced tempo. Decent but I think not the best choice of opener, probably the weakest composition on Fallen if you ask me. Some great soloing guitar in the latter half though. Starting a lot more upbeat with a pounding thunder is “Homeland”. This would have been a better introduction to the album. Up next “Deceiver” has a great hooky chorus. “Mean Streets” simply crushes thunderingly with another sing-along chorus.
“Edge Of Destruction” starts with a soft guitar but before long the reverie is broken as the plodding riffs begin chugging away at your head. The tempo ramps up and we are treated to some screechingly awesome biting vocal tones. Getting into the back half of Fallen we find “Solar Plains”. The vocals here carry just a little more bitterness and venom to them.“Fall From Grace” is sure to be yet another crowd pleaser live.
Running at over six minutes, the second cut to do so, “Sign Of The Cross” feels like it’s over too soon! The final inclusion from the 2017 EP is its title track “Only The Strong”. Wrapping up with the album’s title track, “Fallen”, a grinding, thumping masterpiece.
TRAITORS GATE – Final Thoughts
Traitors Gate have produced an excellent gem of a record here. Ten songs of traditional, yet not dated sounding metal. And quite lengthy compositions at that with more than half above the 5-minute mark, some beyond six. Yet, none of the songs drag, however. Rather fly by in fact! Great album, a definite top ten of the year contender!