Within Our Gates
Kingdom Of Mind


3.5
great

Review

by Rafael Moreira USER (11 Reviews)
March 1st, 2013 | 50 replies | 2,341 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Unlike many albums in and around the genre, Kingdom Of Mind is very mature, dynamic and dauntingly well written.

While falling under the label with blatancy, Within Our Gates are certainly NOT your typical cookie cutter Metalcore band. The Harrisonburg, VA quintet might be in fact giving the first steps towards a very successful career. After various lineup adjustments and almost two years of hard work, Kingdom Of Mind sees its rightful light.

Upon the beginning of Kingdom Of Mind you are immersed into what one might refer to as a journey. 61 minutes of striding between palm muting riffs and Melodeath harmonic guitar lines, with the occasional breakdown and some progressive passages. It’s one very meaty beast. The beauty of it comes from the fact that it’s not the mess it could have been if the band hadn’t structured and written the album well – they very fortunately did. Despite the album’s lengthy nature, Within Our Gates present their vision in the form of a very harmoniously sequenced album; the songwriting capable of bringing many reputable bands to shame. The alluring melodic guitar lines, some good alternate picking sections – the guitar solos. The solos frequently heard throughout the album let clear that there is some serious talent behind the guitars. The execution on the second half of Conception is one to be acknowledged, but not less than the one on Perdition Pt.2 or even Reconstructing The Divine. Another highlight on Kingdom Of Mind would be the vocals. From Perdition Pt.1 to Dolor, the album embraces a heavier feeling as the band approaches a more Death Metal oriented sound, and that is definitely where Logan Strawderman shines the most. His tone is the perfect fit for the overcast nature of said songs. That said, he holds a very solid contribution throughout the album and adds up to the mature sound the band practices. And if Logan has that part covered and assured, Hunter Carter pulls no punches on his singing. Most of the songs on Kingdom Of Mind feature clean singing interventions, mostly on choruses. The thing is that unlike many bands that try to make effective use of clean vocals, Within Our Gates accomplish that quite well. It actually makes most of the songs more interesting and dynamic. A particular moment in which that occurs would be on the band’s single, Seeking Sanity. A song that (speaking of which) stands as the answer to anyone asking themselves if there’s still possible to make a good Metalcore song these days without straying a lot from the genre’s rooted schematics.

Serving as both the album’s backbone and hips, the bassist Tim Wiggins does a bang up job at keeping up with the guitars and his input mixes perfectly within every single song on the album. It comes into evidence that Anthony Lopardo and Ray Marte did a very decent job producing the album, although leaving some (minor) edges to polish. While making Kingdom Of Mind sound wonderful most of the time, there are moments in which the lead guitars seem to come off slightly unbalanced on the mix, or the voice seems to sink into the background more than it should. An example of that would be present in Perdition Pt.2; in some segments of the song the voice seems to struggle quite a bit to remain decipherable - minor issues that not even by far spoil the experience.

Like implicit in previous statements, Within Our Gates don’t spare on the diversity of their sound. KOM starts and builds upon a lively but contained posture, much like a young child watching the world through a grown man’s eyes. It’s by Perdition Pt.1 that said child seems to have become the grown man, with a harsh reality at hindsight. That’s not exactly how the album’s conceptualized, but one might say it comes close, and that’s just the feeling you get from both music and lyrics at that given time. More meticulously though, KOM’s lyrics tell the story of a man trying to “rebuild” himself through the exploration of his conscience and quarrels with his demons, while experiencing a coma. The way the story entwines with the music itself is admirable, and makes the album come together even better. It all adds up to make the 61 minutes easier to get through; and even more dynamic. The lyrics on this are also very well written. Despite some clichéd lines, Within Our Gates manage to pull some pretty impressive, epic lyrical moments. First time I actually quote lyrics, this really calls for it, and I mean it:

Terror rushes through my veins.
Fear is the spawn of my hatred.
Horror is a vicious laceration,
that’s bleeding the violence of my own creation.
We have come for your world,
built on lust, seduction, bringing death and destruction to all.
It’s an insidious rite of passage to devour
the survivors and stack the dead in the masses.

To take your time, sit and read through some of the lyrics would be a great way to experience the album in the way the band intended their listeners to do it.

Going towards the second half of the album, you find the Progressive hinted Dolor serving as a cooler for the album’s fervent nature. Here the band’s capabilities are seen to another level, as the band shows exactly how diverse and hearted they can be. After going through a couple more solid tracks (Seeking Sanity being one of the band’s best efforts), you will find Reconstructing The Divine. There’s no questioning how deep this song intends to go, and it really does. Praising melody instead of chaos, this would have been the perfect finisher for this album, and in the right time too. Finishing up the album comes the homonym track. A display of technical quality (and yet another well written song), where everything connects well, but perhaps not well enough to justify another almost 10 minutes of continuance.

So where does Kingdom Of Mind fall short? To an extent, in its genre limitations. The Metalcore riffs are solid and well executed, but one can’t help but to feel that the band seems to play safe and doesn’t stray too much from what has been done before. It makes for a more accessible, familiar, but also less vibrant focus of the album. Other than that, a few transitions come across a bit abrupt. An example of that is the transition by the third minute of Dolor, that halts a harmonized riff in virtue of an acoustic passage (a good one at that). It doesn’t come close of damaging the song(s) ; just the kind of thing that could use and deserves a slight improvement. Pointing out that a band shouldn’t have made an album a few minutes too long proves to be a hard task to take on with a light head, much more if minded that the album tells us a story. That said, the last 10 minutes of KOM still represent a hard extension to digest, for an already generously lengthy album.

In conclusion, Kingdom Of Mind is an extremely good album. It’s not a breakthrough release, but still very impressive in many ways – If not for anything else, it stands as a Within Our Gates’ first effort, which is amazing given the length and depth of the album. The dynamism, mellowness and diversity of the album is outstanding, and the band ends up tying 61 minutes together without sacrificing the interest of the listener. Within Our Gates are skilled at delivering Metalcore, excellent at their Melodeath segments and sure know how to grab the acoustic guitar and show a bit of their Progressive side. They most surely do know how to combine all that into one very interesting, rewarding album. Let’s add up by saying that Within Our Gates are also a very young Metalcore band that actually knows how to use breakdowns. If bands such as In Flames, Misery Signals, Killswitch Engage or even Parkway Drive speak to you in some way, this might be just right up your alley.

Kingdom of Mind takes its time to sink in, like a lot other albums worthy of consideration, but it also keeps you coming back for another listen. And another. And another.



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user ratings (9)
Chart.
3.1
good

Comments:Add a Comment 
TheMoreira
March 1st 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Ok so this has grown on me to a point a really had to review. Another new band with a great amount of talent and potential. They've been opening for some slick acts like Within The Ruins, In Dying Arms, My Children My Bride, among others. They might be on to something!

Also, Wogger69 is their guitar player/singer. Cheers mate.

Stream:

http://withinourgatesva.bandcamp.com/album/kingdom-of-mind

And here's the single:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIz0BTWxNKc

Give them a chance, you won't regret it. And support the band if you dig their sound.

TheMoreira
March 1st 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you very much Mark. Oh shit i gotta split this thing up!

Edit: Aw much better. Man this is my longest review yet. It's been a while since i actually care to
write one. This one was really asking for it.

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 1st 2013


14308 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Huuuuuuuuge review, you tend to ramble quite a bit, there's some unnecessary sentences in here but other than that, pos.

Apart from an abysmal band name, you make this seem relatively interesting, might check it out.

Digging: We Will Fail - Verstrung

TheMoreira
March 1st 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thanks Jac. Yeah i see what you mean, and thank you too for pointing that out. That's something i should focus on improving in my writting, i tend to be a blabbermouth sometimes.

But yeah check this out man, i'm pretty sure that if you give this a real chance you will find something to like about it!

Cheers Mark!

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2013


29097 Comments


iz it free doh

Digging: Kangding Ray - Solens Arc

TheMoreira
March 1st 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Just go to da stream. Have you listened already?

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2013


29097 Comments


not yet bro but I will def tonight when I get off work

TheMoreira
March 1st 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Cool. Drop some lines afterwards!

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2013


29097 Comments


ju know dis

CaptainDooRight
March 1st 2013


29097 Comments


I enjoyed the first track 'Conception'. The melodies were great. Even though they're nothing new they were used quite tastefully. The first half of the second track was weak compared to its second half which contained a splendid ending. The production is good but interestingly on the third track I felt the vocals drained out the instruments; which that track pretty unpleasant to my ears. Also the swear word was kind of deterring because as a lyricist I know there are better words to use than 'f' which can be way more expressive. I'll check out the rest of the album too, but the generic factor is really working against the dynamic/good things about this album. It's still solid though for what it is.

Progger6009
March 2nd 2013


1099 Comments


Point taken Captain, you make good suggestions. I appreciate your criticism, all criticism is welcome as long as it not too overbearing.

CaptainDooRight
March 2nd 2013


29097 Comments


I hoped mine wasn't too overbearing. And say, are you an alt of this reviews reviewer?

Progger6009
March 2nd 2013


1099 Comments


For the last time NOOOOOO! Im just a dude from VA, he heard my music. And no not overbearing you honestly makes good points. The F word phrasing is a detriment in ways, but we have our reasons, no harm taken.

My Facebook, just in case you really dont believe.
http://www.facebook.com/hunter.k.carter





CaptainDooRight
March 2nd 2013


29097 Comments


That was my first time ever asking you.?. And I never doubted you to begin with.?.

Progger6009
March 2nd 2013


1099 Comments


Im sorry its been an issue on this site multiple times. My bad for taking it out on you, just frustrating at times.

CaptainDooRight
March 2nd 2013


29097 Comments


I can understand that. None taken.

TheMoreira
March 2nd 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Haha, people still think that? Yeah, i'm a portuguese dude lol, check:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004002772373

I actually do have a band too. But we're still working on our debut EP. lol

Progger6009
March 2nd 2013


1099 Comments


"You're a damn solid reviewer bro" [2]



TheMoreira
March 3rd 2013


7177 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Thank you guys!

Jacquibim
Contributing Reviewer
March 3rd 2013


14308 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not quite as good as being At The Gates.



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