At The Gates

Steve Grimmett's Grim Reaper are a heavy metal band from the UK, originally forming in 1979, releasing three albums during the mid eighties NWOBHM evolution. The bands singer Steve Grimmett, along with Bruce Dickinson (Iron Maiden) and Rob Halford (Judas Priest), are (in my opinion) the top three heavy metal vocalists ever to emerge from the UK. Unfortunately, Grim Reaper disbanded in 1988 with the band members going their separate ways, exploring differing musical avenues. Steve Grimmett went on to front the UK thrash metal band Onslaught, the melodic metal band Lionsheart and a number of solo projects. Grim Reaper reformed in 2006, playing selected festivals around the world, releasing the 'Live In Europe' limited edition E.P. in 2011 and, in 2016, the band released their fourth album 'Walking In The Shadows'. And now, forty years after Grim Reaper first formed, the band release their fifth full length album 'At The Gates'.    
One of the best singers to ever grace the world of heavy metal, Steve Grimmett, is back, and in full swing with the new Grim Reaper album 'At The Gates'. Featuring eleven songs across fifty minutes, 'At The Gates' is a traditional, foot on the monitor style, barnstormer of bombastic British heavy metal - the classic sound of the NWOBHM living on, and living on strongly. In my review of their previous album 'Walking In The Shadows', I mentioned that every Grim Reaper album had at least one song with the word "hell" in the title. Sadly, that is not true with this album, although the opener, and title song, 'At The Gates' has the chorus line "at the gates of hell" - so as tenuous as it may be, the bands new album does have a song with the word "hell" in the title...    
The album opener 'At The Gates' is a barnstormer of an opening salvo, igniting the senses and sending pulse rates into overdrive. It is one hundred percent British heavy metal, foot on the monitor styled, with an infectious sing a long chorus too. The guitar buzz synonymous with the sound of the NWOBHM and Steve's voice...'At The Gates' is a glorious beginning to the new album that maintains its gloriousness all the way to its end. Oh man what a guitar sound 'Venom' has, coming to life with an exhilarating buzz sound, giving me goose bumps everywhere, and I mean everywhere! A catchy and addictive sing a long chant style chorus "you're venom, you're venom" and 'Venom' hits the sweet spot, hard... Moving the album in a heavier direction, 'What Lies Beneath' has menace, and thunders along at a very high tempo. Head bang able to the max, 'What Lies Beneath' is a galloping gourmet serving of glorious heavy metal. 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' maintains the albums NWOBHM flavour, marching on majestically, adding more of the melodic side of heavy metal to capture the attention of fans that live on the outskirts of the heavy metal genre. Keeping the melodic nature high, 'A Knock At The Door' assumes a mid tempo pace, a full body swagger, and a fucking brilliant vocal performance by Steve, who I first heard back in 1983 with the release of 'See You In Hell', (yes, I am that old) and have been hooked ever since. And I have had the pleasure of seeing him perform live a couple of times, and have also met him and shook his hand. Precious moments in history that will live on forever.    
And where did that pace come from? 'Rush' takes off like a rocket and flies on at full tilt, a high octane, highly energetic romp of balls out heavy metal. And this is exactly how heavy metal should sound...take note all you new bands, this is the standard you have to attain and better, if you can... And without dropping any of the previous songs energy, 'Only When I Sleep' gallops furiously on, fist pumpingly addictive and oh so very catchy, The combination of foot on the monitor style heavy metal and the melodic side of the genre is perfection, raising hairs on the forearms with every song that strides on by. Grim Reaper are not a let down, they are top shelf heavy metallers, and will always deliver the goods. More pace adorns the album with 'Line Them Up' roaring on, pushing adrenaline levels right off the scale and causing pulses to race at a dangerously high rate. Necks will get a vigorous workout as 'Line Them Up' provides the head bangers of the world with the opportunity to furiously nod their heads back and forth. What an album this is, and still three songs to go - and oh my fucking God, there's that awesome NWOBHM guitar sound once again, am dribbling now... 'Breakneck Speed' maintains, no, betters the albums glorious atmosphere of catchy heavy metal to fall in love with. Yes readers, fall in love with, and okay yes I am in love with this style of heavy metal and have been for forty years...but this is why I love it so much. Sometimes it's hard to find the right words to describe the feelings, but all those feelings are tingling right now, and have been since the album began. And the album just keeps getting better, dribble becoming drool now as 'Under The Hammer' explodes into life and swaggers on, striding tall and very proud. With an album this exciting, I am getting pushed to the limits of my excitement, 'Under The Hammer' hitting the sweet spot in so many ways. And to the final song we arrive, but boy will this album be on replay for some time to come. 'Shadow In The Dark' is a mighty mid tempo monster of buzzing riffage and a heavy hitting rhythm. Fifty minutes of the finest heavy metal has just passed by, a contender for Album Of The Year 2019 most definitely, 'At The Gates' is a must have album for all fans of heavy metal.    
Overall, a corker of an album by legends of metal, 'At The Gates' is a glorious album of infectious, exciting and exhilarating, one hundred percent pure British heavy metal.    
Review By Iron Mathew Collins    
Reviewed For Metal Gods TV    
Other Reviews    

Walking In The Shadows      
"superb collection of NWOBHM from a band who epitomise everything great about heavy metal, led by one of the UK's greatest vocalists" Read Review