Cemetery Fog – Towards The Gates 12″ (2014) – This is the very first outing from Finnish death metallers Cemetery Fog, that is not a demo release. Instead, it is a full EP running in at about the usual length and featuring three largely potent gloomy death metal pieces that are sandwiched in between an intro and outro piece, respectively. While both of those pieces are relatively decent, the real meat of this disc consists in its almost gothic death metal approach, which sets it far apart from other bands in the Finnish death metal scene. “Withered Dreams Of Death 8:40” features haunting symphonics, early Paradise Lost melodies and even the use of gothic organs. Such is continued on “Embrace Of The Darkness 7:30” which even utters some light clean vocals, of which it seems the frontman might be a little nervous about throwing these on the release. They do manage to fit in well with the atmosphere though and work wonderfully as a segue to the much heavier portions of the track. “Shadow Of Her Tomb 9:42” technically ends us out with many of the same elements in which our journey began, mixing the right amount of dark and lighter elements together to create a sound that isn’t entirely original, but highly promising. Towards The Gates is one of the most promising EP releases this year and makes my mouth water for future material in the years to come. Of course, this is already one hell of a gloomy appetizer… like a plate of zombified mozzarella sticks.