Melbourne metalcore outfit HEAVENSGATE are breaking down doors with their debut EP AND ALL I LOVED, I LOVED ALONE, out today via Greyscale Records/1126 Records. The six-track project was two years in the making and the three singles “CHEMICAL HEAVEN”, “GINSICK” AND “SHEMOVESLIKETHUNDER” are distinctly relevant.
With the help of Joshua Ang (Pincer+) – a studio member living across the country – and Erik Bickerstaffe (Loathe) on drum production, HEAVENSGATE have created something truly special in its ferocity. AND ALL I LOVED, I LOVED ALONE is a conceptual release that explores the grief and introspection of heartbreak in all its forms and stages.
Blistering opener “CHEMICAL HEAVEN” tears into muddy guitars and brutal screams as huge drums fill every aural space of the mix in a gripping way. Squealy licks will get your stank face activated while down-tuned chugs drive the song toward an ethereal outro. Next is “COMFORT IN THE SLOW DEATH” to assail you with guttural vocals and relentless scratchy riffs over eerie synths and glitchy programming. This track also rides out with a soft ending as gently strummed chords offer a moment of reprieve in preparation of what’s to come.
The dynamic “GINSICK” showcases the band’s full range of styles in the one song, with a blend of harsh and clean vocals and both chaotic and ambient sections. It kicks off with blast beats and palpable screams before a bouncy verse and a breakdown that sounds like an alien invasion in a microwave. “LOVERSDANCE” takes things down a notch for a sombre ballad of moving cleans and layered guitars. The use of heavy delay and reverb creates an expansive soundscape that reminds of an alcohol-induced fog, fitting as a successor to the former track.
“SHEMOVESLIKETHUNDER” begins with haunting guitars that could pass for a theremin as the sludgy groove of the verse sets in. The pace picks up as the song progresses and has the most memorable breakdown on the EP that makes you want to smash things. Ominous closer “SYMBIOTIC SUICIDE” uses panning in the bridge to create an immersive listening experience which ties in well with its lyrical themes. The visceral performance represents the emotional trauma that comes with a failed relationship and its abrupt ending contrasts the arrangements of the first half of the EP to show the narrator’s downward spiral.
It’s clear that the band intends to push the boundaries of contemporary heavy music with versatile, high-calibre songwriting like this. If this is how they’re launching in 2023 then we’re sure to see the name on a slew of heavy lineups in the coming months.
FOUR AND A HALF STARS (OUT OF FIVE)
AND ALL I LOVED, I LOVED ALONE is available now on all streaming platforms. Follow HEAVENSGATE on Facebook and Instagram for more.