This album to me personifies heavy metal in its truest sense, exceptional musicianship which is at times brutal, but contrasted by eloquent passages and strong melodic undertows, tight arrangements and soaring vocals. 'The Burning Gates' is everything that is good about the genre, the music respectfully pays homage to the masters but still manages to retain a modern and original edge. The songs themselves transcend through a diverse spectrum of musical styles ranging from beautiful, intricate musical passages to downright brutality but at all times manage to retain a balanced sense of cohesion. Heavy metal should be like this, bombastic one moment and then dissipate into beautiful melodies before tearing your head off again, and this album achieves exactly that.
The album was recorded at Against The Grain Studio which for years has had a reputation for producing great quality metal albums. The Devonera boys along with Andy Kite have done a very impressive job with the production, it is sharp, packs a punch and does a great job of showcasing the musical talent of this band. The guitar work of Matt Bagalene and vocalist/guitarist Steven Brown, Elliot Smith’s bass and the drumming of Cameron Steuart all sitting faultlessly in the mix.
Stand out songs are the opening track 'When The Angels Cried' which thunders along like a runaway train. 'Rise Of The Pharaoh' with its haunting interlude, the Hammerfall-esque ballad 'Still (Beyond Salvation)' and the epic 'The Burning Gates' which would not be out of place on any Iron Maiden album. If you are a fan of classic metal meets progressive metal with a bit of post-hardcore thrown in for good measure, this album is for you. I know I will be catching Devonera’s next show and 'The Burning Gates will make a welcome addition to my CD collection.
Review by Mike Trandafil
Adelaide metal band Devonera recently launched their debut album, 'The Burning Gates', at The Cavern Club, Adelaide. The album was recorded at the local Against the Grain studio, and produced by Devonera and Andy Kite. The current line-up for Devonera is made of lead guitarist Matt Bagalene, bass guitarist Elliott Smith, drummer Cameron Steuart, and vocalist/guitarist Steven Brown.
Devonera can be described as a fusion of metalcore, heavy metal, thrash, prog rock, and melodic death metal. The four piece contain elements of Metallica, Trivium, Killswitch Engage, Iron Maiden, and Stone Sour. They remain uncategorised by any single overarching style due to the broad scope of influences Devonera ascribe to.
Devonera officially formed in 2007 and after a break reformed again in 2011. They play local gigs regularly alongside other Adelaide metal acts. In 2013 Devonera supported well-known New Zealand group, Razorwyre, on their Australian 'Another Dimension in Oz' tour; and also Lord (NSW) on their Australian 'Digital Lies' tour. They are also the first in the history of Adelaide's premier annual metal festival, 'Metal for a Cure’, to win an Australia-wide poll to have them enter the festival as an act.
Written by Zoe Mitchell
Photo by Sofie Marsden