Release date: April 28th 2017. Label: Argonauta Records. Format: CD/DD/Vinyl
Gates Of Dawn – Tracklisting
1. So Pure
2. Demon Seducer
3. The Sun Is Going Down
4. Come To See the Show
7. Bug In the Soup
8. The Sweet Babylon
9. Mojo Filter
10. Straight to Hell
11. The Last Scene
Tommy Waits - vocals, guitar
Tom C. Johnson - guitar, vocals
J.J. Strangler - bass, vocals
Migis Thunderthrone - drums
Elephant Bell's debut album - Gates Of Dawn - was originally released digitally back in 2011 though it has never officially been released until now. Thanks to the good folks at Argonauta Records. I remember buying a copy back in the day. Don't know if it was BandCamp or some other digital platform.
This version of Gates Of Dawn is slightly different to the original version that was released years ago. The album has been re-mastered and mixed. Plus the band have added a couple more tracks. This album is never going to change the world of Stoner Rock/Metal. Though if you're a fan of bands such as Kyuss, Fu Manchu and Truckfighters it will entertain you from start to finish.
Songs such as So Pure, The Sun Is Going Dow, Come To See The Stone, Escape and The Last Scene show that the band should have had a slightly bigger impact back when the album was originally released. The band blend elements of Stoner, Desert Rock, Psych and addictive Fuzz for an exciting ride.
The album does veer into Truckfighters style Fuzz/Stoner Rock at times. Then again which band doesn't nowadays or indeed even back then? I did enjoy the album more when Elephant Bell opt for a more classic desert/stoner rock sound. As the album has a playful attitude with spiky lyrics to match. Gates Of Dawn has quite a raw feel which allows the album not to feel over-produced.
The instrumental work is excellent for the most part though there are a few rough moments that take the edge off slightly on a couple of the songs. It won't stop your overall enjoyment of the album and it does indeed sound better than the original version. The vocals have more volume and the guitars sound more fresh.
Gates Of Dawn is a very good album indeed. As it shows that Elephant Bell are a band who truly deserve your time. Let's hope there is a new album from these guys soon as I want to hear more from them. Hopefully an album that allows the band to create their own identity within the Stoner Rock world. If that isn't to be, at least Elephant Bell can rest easily knowing that the definitive version of their album is now available the way it's meant to be heard.
Excellent and Highly Recommended.
Words by Steve Howe
Thanks to the cool folks at Argonauta Records, you can now watch the exclusive new video for Demon Seducer from Gates Of Dawn.
Thanks to Barbara at NeeCee Agency PR for the promo. The album is available to buy now from Argonauta Records.