GATES OF PARIS - Gates Of Paris

Gates Of Paris - Gates Of Paris

12 songs
50:22 minutes
***** ****


Kerion is a French symphonic metal band that released four albums between 2007 and 2014. Founding member and guitarist Rémi Carrairo has now founded another band called Gates Of Paris which goes into the direction of opera metal. The self-titled debut album is a work of concept dealing with the most important epochs of the capital city of France. The band consists of four musicians, plus a horde of guest vocalists and guitarists from other French metal bands, plus a choir.

The short intro with violin and vocals, inspired by the Étude Caprice of Henryk Wieniawski, is followed by the brisk The Cabaret which can trump with a certain Moulin Rouge flair. Even the well-known French Can Can by Jacques Offenbach has been turned into a metal version. Court Of Miracles uses a similar theatrical approach and reminds me a bit of Queen’s Innuendo. Even though the songs all come with a healthy dose of drama, the traditional power metal is never lacking in scope. Helloween, Rhapsody and Symphony X are a few bands that Gates Of Paris might have taken inspiration from. One of the album’s highlights is the powerful Catacombs with some parallels to Savatage’s metal operas. Ghost Of The Seine, sounding like Edith Piaf at a morbid funfair, might be full of kitsch, but is a part of Paris just like the preceding genres. Temple Of Swing is, of course, full of swing, and some jazz, and could have come from the minds of Mike Patton. House Of Kings is a waltz that feels like a pre-revolutionary Louvre. And finally a song has been dedicated to the ugly gargoyles that could have found its place on a Ghost record.

It’s an original idea to enhance the typical metal paraphernalia (guitar, bass and drums) with traditional instruments like accordion, violin and barrel organ that are often associated with Paris. Although the lyrics are in English, nearly all the songs come with French samples to maintain the Parisian atmosphere.

Gates Of Paris has become a very ambitious project. The songwriting is on a very high level, showing a colourful portrait of the French metropolis. Power metal fans that are not averse to abstruse ideas should definitely like this one-of-a-kind album that is brimming with ideas. Just listen for yourself and you know what I mean.

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