Gates Palace of Mirrors

Gates Palace of Mirrors
7
As troubling as it is vibrant, Palace of Mirrors, by Toronto-based mad scientists Gates (led by Bryan W. Bray), is a smoke-filled, fragrant cathedral of a record. Now, the album (which first appeared online in late 2015) is finally getting a vinyl release.
 
Composed of four towering tracks written between 2010 and 2013, Palace of Mirrors is an incredibly unusual album in a spatial sense, moving from vast and echoing to claustrophobic and smothering, often several times within the span of a single track. The walls of "Throne of Light" close in on the listener, only to retreat again; sometimes the instrumentation is spare, almost peaceful, before the rough, ravenous intensity of the distortion comes crashing down once more. "Deliverer/Redeemer" is more of a menacing slow burn, an ever-increasing and relentlessly evil track that claws at the throat like a vengeful ghost.
 
Whether a moment is achingly empty or so full it threatens to shake the listener apart, Palace of Mirrors is an exercise in being overwhelmed. (Hypaethral)