Album Review – Brimstone Gate / Return from the Brimstone Portal (2023)

This Teutonic army will attack your senses with their debut album, paying tribute to 90’s Black and Death Metal from Norway, Sweden and England while also presenting some modern influences.

Formed in 2020 in the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in Hamm, a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, Black/Death Metal horde Brimstone Gate has just unleashed their debut album, entitled Return from the Brimstone Portal, paying tribute to 90’s Black and Death Metal from Norway, Sweden and England while also presenting some modern influences. Recorded by the band’s two founding members Carsten Nachtigall and Michael Gruen, mixed and mastered by Michael “Obelxxx” Elsner, and displaying a classic artwork licenced by iStock and re-worked and designed by Michael Gruen, Return from the Brimstone Portal is recommended for admirers of the music by Belphegor and Zyklon, showcasing all the talent and hard work by Simon Stellmacher (Niflhel) on vocals and bass, and Carsten Nachtigall (Niflhel) and Michael Gruen (Niflhel, Deathstruction) on the guitars and drum programming.

Cinematic, somber and atmospheric from the very first second, Beyond the Gate works as an intro to a horror movie, dragging our souls to the Stygian lair ruled by Brimstone Gate in Return from the Brimstone Portal, exploding into a technical yet visceral form of Death Metal with Simon roaring like a beast, therefore adding an extra dosage of dementia to the overall result; and the guitars by Carsten and Michael bring fire to their music in Voices of the Dead, accompanied by the song’s massive beats in another solid display of German Death Metal. Then spearheaded by the venomous screams by Simon we have Emperor of the Painful Realm, sounding infernal from start to finish to the song’s hammering drums.

The second half of the album begins with another bestial creation by the quintet named Path to Your Liberation, offering Simon’s rumbling bass and the always scorching riffs and solos by Casrten and Michael, and it’s then time for a neck-breaking extravaganza entitled The Void Darkened, displaying the band’s usual savagery spiced up by another demonic drum explosion. There’s no time to breathe as those Teutonic metallers keep darkening the skies with their fusion of Black and Death Metal in Death Arises in the Wind, showcasing more of their piercing, dirty riffs; whereas closing the album it’s time for the six-minute tune Lost Nightsun, sounding bold and austere while led by the deep roars by Simon, albeit a bit too lengthy in the end.

The new opus by Brimstone Gate is available for a full listen on YouTube and on Spotify, but of course if you’re an admirer of extreme music with an epic background story you can purchase a copy of the album (and consequently show all your support to the underground scene) directly from their own BandCamp page. Don’t forget to also follow the band on Facebook and on Instagram for tour dates, news and so on, and to subscribe to their YouTube channel for more of their incendiary music. Those German metallers are on absolute fire in Return from the Brimstone Portal, the first step in their promising career, and an amazing display of the always entertaining Black and Death Metal scene from one of the meccas of heavy music worldwide.

Best moments of the album: Return from the Brimstone Portal, Emperor of the Painful Realm and Path to Your Liberation.

Worst moments of the album: Lost Nightsun.

Released in 2023 ADG Records

Track listing
1. Beyond the Gate (Intro) 1:33
2. Return from the Brimstone Portal 5:00
3. Voices of the Dead 4:37
4. Emperor of the Painful Realm 4:11
5. Path to Your Liberation 5:26
6. The Void Darkened 5:12
7. Death Arises in the Wind 5:36
8. Lost Nightsun 6:26

Band members
Simon Stellmacher – vocals, bass
Carsten Nachtigall – guitars, drum programming
Michael Gruen – guitars, drum programming

Live lineup
Dominik Zillmann – vocals
Carsten Nachtigall – guitars
Michael Gruen – guitars
Robin Vieler – bass, backing vocals
Daniel Müller – drums