This is such a sizzling EP what else can I say in the end? This stacked 8 track EP by three piece Hellgate is more than explosive, amazing and dramatic, it’s also extremely suspenseful and delivers a classic old school alt-rock style. HELLGATE are: Joel Floyd West (Guitar, Vocals), Scott Daniels (Bass), Jordan Sean (Drums). It has a very quirky-hard-rock quality to it as well The intro track “Death of Faith” gives you the impression as if you were in some kind of Metallica concert. Vocals from West on the first track really hit home with its vibe and lyrics. The really vivid, yet emotional charged subject matter sets the mood well via a great set of opening set of songs: “Death of Faith”, “Dead Ones” and my top pick “Fade” reminiscent of acts such as Limp Bizkit, Jonathan Davis, Head, Slipnot and Deftones. West has a really strong tonal foundation coupled with heavy rhythms, hypnotic fretwork, whacked out writing style, with spaced out goodness vocally. The vocals and guitar soloing from West are well executed and the lyrics are to say the least thought provoking and apocalyptic. This band is a hybrid between Korn and Slipnot. That’s how diverse they really are. The drums and the bass lines just help push the CD/album forward, and the vibe, if you pay attention carefully, has a really psychotic, chaotic feel to it. As the EP evolves it showcases some dramatic combinations of high energy guitar work fused with West’s vocals. The guitar/drum/vocal tandems have an important role on all pieces as well. On many these tracks West is clearly in charge of giving the mood assigning to each song vocally. He’s a pretty damn good soloist if you ask me. The addition of the well partitioned segments gives many songs an easy to follow script.
In conclusion, here’s an EP release I’ve been dying to get my hands on for a while. I was just unable to stumble across these guys until today. It’s also very dark, subliminal, and a grand concept, it’s a revolution waiting to happen that’s sure to get many peoples attention. From the production level, to the musicianship involved, “Hellgate” EP from these 3 Montana residents deliver in grand hard rock fashion, and it’s about time! With the advent of this band to mainstream hard alt-rock, with their superlative signature sound and trademark moniker, everything here works terrifically well. It will keep you in a state of positive wonderment from start to finish. Need I Say More?
Rating 4.5 Stars
by John Burke