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Patrons of the Rotting Gate — The Rose Coil

I will never understand people who complain about how there’s no good metal coming out these days. If anything, there’s too much good metal coming out. It is impossible to keep up.

Case in point: during the course of the past week, I came across not one, but two fascinating one-man metal bands. The first was The Sun Through a Telescope, whose first full-length we streamed on Tuesday. The second was Patrons of the Rotting Gate. Both are unearthly talents; both are virtually unknown, as far as I can tell.

Patrons of the Rotting Gate is the work of a Northern Irishman named Andrew Millar. How freakish is his gift? Try this on for size: the bonus materials for his debut album, The Rose Coil, include a metal version of “The Battle of Chamdo,” the song-length classical interlude from the new Gorguts album. You can A/B them his version with the original below.

Pretty good likeness, right? Now consider the following: Colored Sands, the Gorguts record in question, leaked on July 25. It is highly unlikely that Millar listened to “The Battle of Chamdo” before this date. That means that he heard “The Battle of Chamdo,” decided he wanted to cover it, learned the entire piece, arranged it for a totally different set of instruments, recorded it with those instruments, mixed, mastered, and posted it, all in a span of 50 days. (Or less, if he waited for its Spotify debut.) He did this while writing and recording a full-length album. Normal humans don’t work that way.

The Rose Coil itself is even more impressive. Writing and tracking a complex, technically-inclined modern black metal album virtually singlehanded is tough enough. (A second musician lent a hand on guitars.) Dealing with the hardware side of the equation — recording, mixing, and mastering — on top of the creative element is even crazier. And coming out of the process with a final product that’s of such high quality is simply mind-boggling. The Rose Coil is diverse and elaborate; it reeks of obsession. Musically, I’m reminded of recent efforts by Aosoth and Nightbringer. Like those bands, Patrons of the Rotting Gate balances bent-string dissonance with rich instrumental tones and stern, sorrowful melodies. There’s also a marked progressive death metal lean here; check that fleeting-but-effective groove about five minutes into “Tři Závěti.” How did Millar pull all of this off in just a few months? Did he work on it 24/7? Does he have a job? When the music is this good, I don’t care about the answers.

Stream Patrons of the Rotting Gate‘s debut below. It is available for pay-what-you-want download on Bandcamp; throw this hard-working individual some cheddar.

— Doug Moore

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