firegate - woe woe woe

Woe, Woe, Woe
Nokternal Hemizphear

Arriving out of South Africa is a one-man project known as FireGate. Consisting of one guy (which makes sense, as I just said in the first sentence of this review that it was a “one-man project” and all) named Chris Mocke, according to the blurb taken from the Nokternal Hemizphear site, he’s a music teacher by day and a metal wizard by night. I’m certain they don’t mean that literally; consequently, I don’t recall Metal Wizardry as a course offered in the Hogwarts curriculum. And here I am, mixing my geek references. My bad.

I came across Firegate on the Sanctus Gladius site, sniffing around for some new \,,/METAL\,,/ to check out. Amazon had the album Woe, Woe, Woe (for the life of me, I keep hearing Joey Lawrance’s character from the old TV show Blossom saying that on a loop when I write that), and thus I purchased the download of the album. Considering this CD was limited to only 100 copies of the physical pressing, and I’m not one to feel the need to have the physical product in the collection, I’m more than happy with that outcome, really.

I found Woe, Woe, Woe to be refreshingly different. To be fair, with the word “fire” in the name, I was expecting either generic power metal, or generic second-wave black metal. But instead, the music is firmly ensconced in the King Diamond school of heavy, heavy metal, with some classic heavy riffs and a falsetto that will haunt your daydreams. But, there are also a bit of variety thrown into the mix, with elements of thrash, some black n’ roll, and some power metal tossed in to keep things interesting. The only real negative thing that I can think of with this album would be the production, as it seems a bit on the muddled side, just enough to make me think there was something wrong with the equalizers on my media player. I found it to be the audible equivalent to putting Vaseline on the camera lens.

Overall, Woe, Woe, Woe is a rather good heavy metal album from the classic school. It’s something different than a lot of metal that I’ve been forced to listen to recently, and it grew on me instantly. Check this one out some time.