Vancouver (BC) – Canadian Epic/Melodic Heavy Metal heroes Gatekeeper will release From Western Shores – their first full-length album in five years – on March 24, 2023, on Cruz Del Sur Music.
From Western Shores is a captivating eight-song journey that redefines epic, melodic heavy metal!
Jeff Black relocated Gatekeeper from Edmonton, Alberta, to Vancouver in 2014. Black’s East Vancouver locale finds him 30 minutes away from beaches, mountains, and incredible woodlands. He attests to Vancouver’s “boundless quality” that makes inspiration come easy — he is surrounded by nature, after all. But Vancouver’s enduring beauty has a double meaning for Black and Gatekeeper. It is here where their career took off, beginning with 2018’s heralded East of Sun full-length and the 2019 Grey Maiden EP, planting them firmly in the middle of the thriving underground melodic metal scene. It was only fitting, then, that their latest studio foray bears the title of From Western Shores as an homage to their home province.
Change has been afoot in the Gatekeeper camp since East of Sun. Guitarist Adam Bergen replaced Kenny Kroecher in 2019 and lead singer Tyler “Tex” Anderson supplanted Jean-Pierre Abboud in early 2022. (The band is rounded out by bassist David Messier and drummer Tommy Tro.) These moves strengthened Gatekeeper’s lineup and enabled Black to harness the talents of its newest members to pick up where the band left off with East of Sun. From Western Shores is populated with eight new razor-sharp songs in execution and production, thanks to the band cutting guitars, bass and vocals at Black’s Vancouver home studio. Drums were laid down at Little Red Sounds Studios in Westminster, British Columbia with Michael Kraushaar. And the highly in-demand Arthur Rizk (Cavalera Conspiracy, Kreator, Sonja) handled mixing duties.
Anderson undertook the daunting task of writing most of the lyrics and melodies on From Western Shores. He delivers with sharp, passionate vocals that delve into topics like pulp fantasy, mythology and fantasy. “Exiled King” details Harald Hardrada, the last Viking king of Norway, while “From Western Shores” and “Keepers of the Gate” are autobiographical and dedicated to Gatekeeper’s devoted fanbase. Any way you slice it, Anderson’s charisma and vocal prowess should easily help Gatekeeper navigate the treacherous singer-switch terrain that has befallen far lesser bands.
Ultimately, From Western Shores doubles down on the elements that have made Gatekeeper an international standout. The heavy metal parts are more heavy metal; the epic parts are more epic and the sad parts — as Black carefully puts it — are “sad as fuck.” It reinforces the notion that Gatekeeper is a melting pot of styles unlike very few within the melodic metal scene.
Armed with a new singer and eight indomitable metal anthems, Gatekeeper storms into 2023 poised to continue to fly the Canadian metal flag with honor and pride. Best of all, From Western Shores proves that few can match Gatekeeper when it comes to epic heavy metal.
Vinyl LP Coke Green (LMT 100):
Vinyl LP Swamp Green (LMT 200):
Vinyl LP Sea Blue (LMT 200):
Vinyl LP Black:
Tyler “Tex” Anderson – Vocals
Jeff Black – Rhythm Guitar
Adam Bergen – Lead Guitar
David Messier – Bass
Tommy Tro – Drums