Gateways Rated 10/10 By Jennytate’s Blog

Recorded at Legacy Studios, ‘Gateways’ was released on 26th June, 2017, at the Habeys Eid Show, at the Carnival Stage in Male’ city. From one of the Maldives’ most successful guitarists, ‘Gateways’, Shahyd’s 4th solo release, is a 9 track album, entirely self produced by Shahyd. Most commonly known as lead guitarist of Sacred Legacy, of The Maldives, Shahyd entered the music industry in late 2004, with his debut band, SYN. Sacred Legacy was then formed, in 2006. His debut solo album, The Sacred Legacy, launched in September of that year. It made an instant impact, for its heavy thrash riffs and melodic sound. In fact, Shahyd’s music attracted so much attention, that he then formed a solo career. ‘Gateways’, however, varies from his previous work, being more melodic and experimental, including more mood responsive twists and turns within its’ sounds. Shahyd believes ‘Gateways’ to be his best work to date and claims it to contain his trademark signature technique.

Dominion – Brilliantly intricate riff intro, boding well immediately. Evident, accomplished song-craft, much along the Yngwie Malmsteen/Steve Vai/Joe Satriani vein. Always a great thing, IMHO. A positive melodic riff fest of epically masterful proportions. Faultless, flawless, impeccable.

Event Horizon – A gentler, sweeping ambient lapping wave acoustic intro. The ideal late-night chill-out, but don’t be misled into expecting the quieter tones to stay. It soon evolves into a beautiful bold melody, so smooth, it’s entrancing, as it melts your senses, with sheer charisma. Stunning.

Between Worlds – Seguing straight into a heartfelt, warm tone, carrying you away, in a dream. Continuing with that same Steve Vai sound, it’s the ultimate escapist instrumental. So inspired and maxed out to the limit of beauty. It’s just gloriously metallic and equally melodic. Amazing musicianship and thoroughly lovable.

The Imitation Game – Finding its way into your heart and mind again, with immediate effect, it’s musical beauty, personified. Guitar wizardry of such immensity, it wouldn’t be going too far to call it genius. Riff-Meister extraordinaire doesn’t even cut it. Liking those paradiddles there and the gently, yet powerfully intent bass work. Drumming of that rare quality that knows when to stand back and when to shine. Either way, it’s a striking performance, filled with creative magic.

Duels Of Fate – Heavier fayre now, of the Disturbed school of metal. Something which always gives this reviewer a thrill). Still, though, it retains that gentle strength and consistency of tone and method so beloved of we riff magnets. Something so fresh and invigorating lives within this playing and the energy just infects you. Contagiously upbeat, professionally paced and never missing a beat. Sublime.

Warriors Dawn – Strong riff intro, injecting flavour, passion and colourful vibrancy into the track, there’s a world of vivid energy in here. Uplifting, perfected performance and indescribably luscious. Imagine a feast sized fruit salad, of your own making, with no creative limits and this is a musical equivalent. A high-class Sanatogen pill, with all the taste and none of the side-effects. Delicious.

Stardust – Quietly anthemic intro, gradually increasing the volume, keeping the immeasurably good intensity, throughout, it’s aptly named, as a feast for the senses, through which, you can feel the magical Stardust falling and enveloping you in its spell. Enchanting in a big way and even that doesn’t do it full justice. Those riff solos are simply extraordinary.

Lunar – Opening softly, now continuing that way and maintaining the gentler stance, in a noticeably emotional performance, it’s the living embodiment of that much adored phrase, ‘where words fail, music speaks’. So inexplicably, significantly expressive, I could happily have this on endless repeat. One listen and this’ll filter into your soul. It’s just magnificent.

Kingdom Of Eden – A ballady sound, initially, for the briefest time, before coming to life, with dramatic drum rolls, aflame with life and colour. Like a musical rainbow, being thrown to you, with fireworks following, as a bonus and lighting up the sky, with aural passion. Hitting a faster pace, from the mid-section, bringing everything together, so cohesively, it’s electric, right to the end.

Overall – Imagine a world of magical make-believe, where metal ruled and played forever, bringing your dreams to life, with the eternal sound of metallic love itself. That’s the sound of ‘Gateways’ and I can pay it no greater compliment. It’s literally divine and undoubtedly, one of the greatest, most happily memorable albums I’ve heard this year. Or at all, in fact. Ever wanted to hear a rainbow? Listen to ‘Gateways’ and you’ll hear it. One of the purest forms of metal devotion ever.

10/10 **********

Out now, as a self release.

For fans of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, Yngwie Malmsteen, Dragonforce

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