Patrons Of The Rotting Gate are the solo-outfit of a Belfast-born guy, Andrew Ross Millar. Despite his very young age, he was capable to create this first full length all by himself: lyrics and music, vocals, guitars, bass, drums, keyboards, programming, production, engineering, mix and mastering, and even the artwork! Only a friend of his, Adam Irwin, helped him out on some additional guitar lines. And seen the result, it is enormously impressing. Even an ‘experienced’ musician with an older age wouldn’t / could barely reach this majestic concept.
When it comes to the artwork, well, it’s quite impressive. Check out the album cover and enjoy the bleak strength coming out of it. But the cover painting is not why you would buy, download or steal this stuff, so up to the next parts: the songs / performance and the sound.
The sound. Well, as a matter of fact, the production is very lo-fi, yet not of the cheap kind. The album does not sound as if it were recorded in a couple of hours in some smelly garage box (even though, there must have been a penetrant smell of nastiness; when listening to this album, I do experience a sulphuric stench over and over again. No, seriously, it’s decently mixed yet tastefully unpolished. The idea to choose not to use a clinical sound yet an underground-one instead is a right decision.
And then, the album itself, seen from aural point of view. The Rose Coil stands for Black Metal. Voila, satisfied right now? Need some more info? Aha, here it comes. It’s old fashioned, yet with a modern approach. It means that the album comes with a timeless approach, related to the roots of the nineties yet translated within a twenty first century’s setting. Besides, there is an enormous variety. Too much variation might lead to a lack of coherence, yet in this case the cohesion is monumental. No matter if it’s about a fast of slower piece, a rhythmic or a melodic one, and so on; The Rose Coil is a one-direction journey. Another positive element within the ‘variation’-tab is the wide range of musical influences. I mentioned 'Black Metal’ before, but it is of the most morbid, funereal kind. It gets spiced by elements from Doom-Death, Sludge, Post-Black, Funeral Doom, Morbid Death (nowadays the so-called ‘Metal-of-Death’ revival is a synonym I’d like to add…), esoteric Ambient (Secrets In The Soil, with its psychedelic oriental atmosphere), Blast-Black, Psychedelic Doom, Drone, Prog (fortunately of the acceptable, non-exaggerated kind), Classical (there is even nothing wrong with the short piano-intermezzos His Crimson Painting or …Of All Eyes), and so on.
The promo-edition Concreteweb did receive also includes two cover songs, which are only available digitally. It’s the Gorguts-song The Battle Of Chamdo, performed in a surprisingly original version, and Caress Of Vines by Orgone, which sounds a lot like the original.
The technically perfectly performed details are so mature as if it all had been created by a band that started when this youngster wasn’t even born yet. No, I am not getting emotional involved, nor will I float into pathetic spheres of unlimited admiration, but I am impressed, and that does not happen that often at all. Such a debut album, done by a twenty one year old guy, is not just amazing; it’s f*cking amazing!