Heaven's Gate were a German power metal band formed in 1987 from the ashes of an earlier group named Steeltower, where vocalist Thomas Rettke and drummer Thorsten Mueller achieved little recognition despite putting in almost five years of work and releasing an album in 1984. They would be far more fortunate with Heaven's Gate (also featuring guitarists Bonny Bilski, Sascha Paeth, and bassist Manni Jordan), which capitalized on the late-'80s and early-'90s power metal craze with solid efforts like In Control (1989), Open the Gate and Watch (EP, 1990), Livin' in Hysteria (1991), More Hysteria (EP, 1992), and Hell for Sale (1992). Their momentum finally tapered off after 1993's Live for Sale album, and when they returned for a final pair of LPs in 1996's Planet E and 1999's Menergy (introducing new bass player Robert Hunecke-Rizzo), Heaven's Gate were experimenting with a darker, less accessible style of songwriting, which didn't go over well with their old fans. The group had apparently run its course anyway, and broke up shortly thereafter, opening the door for guitarist Paeth to become a highly successful heavy metal producer in the years that followed.
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