Sound — 10
In a word: crushing. This is the second album by morbid angel that I purchased, the first one being blessed are the sick. There is a huge contrast between the two albums, "blessed..." being more thrashy and energetic, and "gateways..." being dark and doomy. Most of the songs (except ageless still I am) are played on a 7-string guitar and the riffs are very sludgy, much unlike Morbid Angel's earlier releases.
Lyrics — 8
Gateways is the second album that new vocalist/bassist Steve Tucker appears on. His singing has evolved and has now become more focused and much stronger since his debut appearance on "formulas fatal to the flesh". In this album the lyrics are no longer so focused on the sumerian beliefs and Tucker proves that he can write songs just as "anti-god" as original vocalist/bassist David Vincent. Read the lyrics to "opening of the gates" and you will see what I mean. Tucker's lyrics are very meaningful although rather evil and speaks his mind very well.
Overall Impression — 10
This album is definitely worth buying and is an essential to any death-metaller. I was admittedly rather shocked when I heard this album after Blessed are the sick because of the sharp contrast in sound, but this can only be a good thing since it shows the diversity of the band. The best songs on this album are Summoning Redemption, He who sleeps, to the victor the spoils, opening of the gates, hell they're all killer! Recently I have bought 2 other albums, "Formulas fatal to the flesh" and "Entangled in Chaos", a live album. I must say I think "Gateways..." is better than "formulas..." because the sound is more focussed and controlled. Somethign I have always admired morbid angel for is the fact that they demonstrate anger and aggression in their music whilst keeping it controlled and still rhythmic etc - something that other DM bands like cannibal corpse seem to struggle to achieve.