The most salient characteristic of The Gate is its late-period (post-'80s) Sabbath-like clarity and riff structure. Truly, the vast preponderance of this material would have been suitable for -- and clearly emerges as a result of -- Heaven and Hell or Mob Rules. Goliath is a talented trio from Indiana who bring a clear and unequivocal Christian message to their particular brand of stoner metal. That in and of itself -- the fact that this is more or less drug music -- may be massively troubling for fans, even if Sabbath, and for that matter Wino and the Obsessed, dealt obliquely with spiritual matters throughout their albums. Brooding and dark, but recorded with digital sharpness, The Gate also owes a bit of its sound to early Danzig material, specifically Danzig and Lucifuge. However, bracketing the Christian concerns -- which, truly, are secondary or tertiary to the music itself -- and even the obvious musical abilities of Goliath, there is an undeniable lack of energy or power to the music, whereas the rhythm section of Butler and Ward or Appice attacked each song with fury, whether a fast charger like "Neon Knights" or a slow blues workout. It's precisely that type of rhythmic construct that is also necessary for any rock band or any stripe to carry the weight of their lineage. Next to that, Goliath is fairly sterile.
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AllMusic Review by Patrick Kennedy