Cold Waters of Anduin
- 1.Cold Waters of Anduin (Prologue)02:44
- 2.Gandalf's Song of Lorien05:40
- 4.Arey's Sword06:52
- 5.To Rivendell!07:23
- 6.Winter Song05:00
- 7.Lady in Black (Uriah Heep cover)06:00
- 8.To Isengard with Doom We Come05:33
- 9.In Western Lands (Epilogue)02:22
Moongates Guardian, the duo from Russia, a year after ‘The Last Ship’ which left me a good first impression, they return with their nineth full length album called ‘Cold Waters of Anduin’. It was released the 1st of January of 2020 in digital format independently and in cd format by More Hate Productions, the label that they have been working with and trust since their first full length. I received both albums at the same time, so I have listened their previous recently and I can say that this one is following the same path with some minor new additions. So, their love for medieval scenery, fantasy, Tolkien themes and Summoning worship are the elements that characterize this release too.
The band, going from one album to the other, is like going to the next chapter of a book, devoted to the same style with minor changes or additions where the story needs to show something different. Their music is dominated by the atmosphere created by the keyboards, creating a majestic atmosphere, while their lines are melodic and influenced by folk and medieval music. I think that the band has used some new instrument sounds in this album such as the flute or an instrument that reminded me of zither, also I think that they have used various new sounds of percussion, making the music multidimensional. Another new element that you may notice is the use of clean, female vocals, mainly used in narrative parts of the compositions, this approach reminded me a lot of Evol. There is also a cover of the classic song of Uriah Heep, Lady in Black, which may seem irrelevant with the album and its topic, but when you listen to the version that the band created, you will appreciate that they included it. The songs last from five to seven minutes and their structure is good, sometimes repetitive, but not tedious for the listener.
In ‘Cold Waters of Anduin’ too, Skilar is responsible for performing the instruments and Alexey for performing the vocals, and both have done a nice job. All the instruments are played with accuracy and passion, with the ruling one to be the keyboards which create the entire scenery and achieve to offer the different feelings during the progress of the story. The guitars are supporting the compositions giving that dark and massive character, while the bass adds depth. The drum machine has basic lines, acceptable sound and in general it is decent. The vocals have a lot of variety regarding the expression of feelings and the performance of the dialogs and the narration, giving life to the story. Depending on the story’s moment, the vocals are harsh Black Metal, other times deep Death Metal – like and other times clean, either singing or narrating. The lyrics are the original poems of Tolkien and they are contained in the cd.
In conclusion, ‘Cold Waters of Anduin’ is an interesting album, giving the next chapter of their narration well. The new instruments’ sounds presented here, make the music multidimensional and more interesting. This is not your typical Black Metal release, so I wouldn’t recommend it to every fan. If you are a fan of Summoning’s work or you like epic, majestic and atmospheric Black Metal, you will appreciate this release. If you are a fan of the previous albums of Moongates Guardian, you will surely be excited with this one too.