Review: “Hell’s Gate” EP by Dizastra

Montreal Quebec Canada is the place that Blackened Thrashers Dizastra call home. Their original line-up of Matt Conti with guitars and vocals, drummer Matt Couillard, bassist JD Bolduc and guitarist Denis Stoisin unleashed the beast with “Hell’s Gate” in December 2015. Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by  Jordan Barillaro who also receives a production credit alongside the band and with artwork from Ruthy Kowaz the perfect depiction of the evil that awaits, let’s get to it.

The sound of Metal on Metal before a slamming door signals the closing of “Hell’s Gate” behind you as the introduction to Dizastra begins. Conti has a classic Thrash Metal voice and a storytelling style when it comes to lyrics that depicts his vision of Hell to a backdrop of guitar work that blends up the styles. There are some clear Slayer inspirations (the band would later cover “Show No Mercy”) but there are also some more Progressive influences switch sweeping chord progressions and and extended instrumental passage. “The Abyss” continues the talk of demonic plagued nightmares leading to oblivion with some hammering double kick footwork from Matt Couillard and a pair of melting solos that drives down the darkness. It’s a fine example of an old school vibe that runs throughout the bands work in homage to bands from the early 80s while the echo effect of “your veins” to bring it to a close is gloriously dark. “Blood Moon” is the first foray into the Black Metal with blast beats and Norwegian influences running deep. A swirling bass riff with some jazz indulgence underpins a solo before opening the gate to a Dream Theatre inspired virtuoso instrumental bridge of both light and dark riffs intertwined in masterful fashion. The closing account break acts as a breather before “Dark Matter” gets underway. Dark swirling moods and Black Metal lead flourishes break into Thrash riffs accompanied by Conti’s dry uncleans that have as much bark as they do bite. Use of a gang vocal to enhance some lines is the helping hand that gives it the push that makes you move and an impaled scream is that unexpected wow factor moment. Closing the cut with a flurry that you would expect live is a wonderful sonic touch to 22 minutes of Hell [7.5/10]

Track listing

  1. Hell’s Gate
  2. The Abyss
  3. Blood Moon
  4. Dark Matter

“Hell’s Gate” by Dizastra is out now and available over at bandcamp

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