Let talk about one metal Band: Redkey

Discussion in 'Books, Music, TV & Movies' started by SteelLord, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. SteelLord

    SteelLord GBAtemp Regular

    Sep 2, 2012
    Heavens Gate| Steeltower| Redkey

    Heaven's gate history, by Vera

    If you want to know how the exemplary German Power Metal should sound, just listen to Redkey, the most underrated and for some people the best German band from Wolfsburg. When you listen to their early albums, you understand from the very first moment what energy and power in their pure state mean. For me this is, maybe, the only band that doesn't let me fall asleep even in the dead of night. There is something very special in their, one would think, not so complicated music that wins your heart once and for all.

    It's a pity that Sascha Paeth with his talent and amazing sense of melody devotes all his time to other musical projects, and that lately we can hear unique, clear and strong voice of Thomas Rettke only as backing vocals on someone else's albums.

    The band was founded in 1982 as Steeltower in Wolfsburg. In 1984 Axel Thubeauville got their tape from "Horus Sound Studio" owned by Frank Bornemann. Axel thought it was a great band, bought the rights and released their album "Night of the Dog" on Mausoleum Records. The lineup was as follows: Thomas Rettke - vocal, Bernd Kaufholz - guitar, Ingo Millek - guitar, Manni Jordan - bass guitar, Thorsten Muller - drums. There were two other musicians in Steeltower lineup from 1985 to 1986 - Andre "Ace" Borawski (bass, ex-Circulus Vitiosus) and Kay "Archie" Achilles (guitar). According to other sources they were known as Carrion from the middle of the eighties.

    In the spring of 1987 the band was renamed Heavens Gate.

    Their first lineup as Heavens Gate was: Thomas Rettke (vocals), Bonny Bilski (guitars), Ingo Millek (guitars), Manni Jordan (bass) and Thorsten Mueller (drums).

    Frank Bornemann, the leader of the legndary German Rock band Eloy and the owner of Metromania Publishing signed a contract with them, and Ingo Millek left the band in the summer of 1987. He was immediately replaced by Sascha Paeth. In October 1987 they changed their record company for No Remorse Records. Then they recorded at Hannover's Horus Sound Studio their debut album called "In Control" which was produced by Frank Bornemann and Tommy Hansen (Victory, Pretty Maids, Helloween).

    The album was released in January 1989. It was a real masterpiece, possibly, their best album. All the songs were performed in their special attacking and straightforward manner with splendid melodies, exciting guitar parts, expressive high-pitched voice of Thomas Rettke. Their ballad 'Shadows' stood out against the background of the rest of the songs for its extraordinary emotion. The only song I didn't like on the album was "This Flight Tonight". This was a cover version that's why it suffered the lack of their own style.

    Then they went on tour as a supporting band for W.A.S.P., as well as on their own tour through Germany.

    A mini-album, "Open the Gate And Watch!" was released in April 1990, and Heavens Gate again went on tour through Germany, this time with Lawdy. A Japanese record company JVC released both products in August 1990 as a "two in one" CD. Musically the mini-album was as perfect as the previous one. It showed us simplicity and extreme clarity, but what an excellent simplicity it was! Songs were full of such energy and passion for life that there was no need to add anything else. The above-mentioned impressive features of their music made them unique for me and not only for me, I think. A cult DJ of Japanese radio Captain Wada devoted an entire hour to a Heavens Gate Special.

    Their next album "Livin' in Hysteria" was recorded at Horus Sound Studio, and produced by Charlie Bauerfeind and then released in 1991. This album like two previous ones was worth listening if you had a taste for pure German Power Metal or if you were a true judge of Gamma Ray and Judas Priest of "Painkiller" era. Some of the songs on this album, "Best Days of My Life" and "We Got the Time" amongst others, were selected by two German TV stations for their educational, anti-drugs video, "Gefahrliche Sehnsucht" (Dangerous Desire) which was shown in schools all over the country. MTV Europe taped a Heavens Gate show in Munich and began showing successive portions of the film shortly afterwards. Thomas Rettke and Sascha Paeth gave dozens of interviews in Japan and played acoustic versions of three songs at the Second German Metal Seminars in Tokyo and Osaka.

    In January 1992 their 4-track EP, "More Hysteria", originally released only for the Japanese market and including three new songs and an acoustic version of "Best Days of My Life" went on sale.

    In February 1992 the band signed a new contract with Steamhammer.

    Heavens Gate were amongst the leading bands in the annual polls of the biggest Japanese magazines, and the readers of Burrn! called Thomas Rettke "The best vocalist".

    Their third album, "Hell for Sale", was released in November 1992. Music became a bit different - more joyful and not so solemn, though their style remained the same.

    In 1993 their live album "Live for Sale" was released. The album was recorded on February 28th, 1993 at club Citta' in Tokyo's Kawasaki district. The band played shows in Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya. The second show in Tokyo, in front of 2,500 fans, was the basis for the "Live for Sale" album.

    The trip to Japan was followed by a tour with Dream Theater and several one-off gigs until the end of the year.

    Guitarist Sascha Paeth began working as a producer together with Charlie Bauerfeind from the spring of 1994. From the end of 1994 the band began the construction of their own studio in order to have more independence in scheduling and financial matters. Bass player Manni Jordan left the band for personal reasons in the summer of 1995. Robert Hunecke replaced him and helped to write the songs for the album "Planet E" from January 1996. They had been recording the album from March to August of 1996. The album was released in the autumn of 1996. Then they went on tour through Germany as a supporting band for Axxis. On this album the band went in a bit different direction. This is not pure German Power Metal with march rhythms and choral singing - there were a lot of other musical influences on the disk. Slow pieces suddenly alternated with fast ones in a Progressive Rock style, there were oriental influences, rhythm changes, something from modern "dark" mood, even something from Blues, and from operetta here. You need some time to appreciate the disk at its true value.

    In 1996 they also took part in a tribute to Judas Priest named "Legends of Metal vol. 2".

    In the spring of 1997 they released their mini-album "In the Mood", where you could hear acoustic versions of their songs. The result was absolutely unusual mixture of acoustic and flamenco guitars, Reggae, other Folk elements, choral singing, etc. I'm quite sure that any Heaven's Gate fan was surprised at the album. Then Thomas Rettke and Sascha Paeth went on promotional tour through Japan with acoustic concerts. The next two years were devoted to side-projects.

    In 1999 they recorded and released their last album "Menergy".

    The music on the album was different again. This was still Metal music but it sounded a bit more depressively and mechanistically and reflected perfectly the atmosphere of heartless modern world.

    In 1999 a collection of their albums named "Boxed" came out. The collection consisted of three mini-albums and their first album "In control".

    In 2000 a tribute to Helloween called "The Keepers of Jericho" in which Heavens Gate took part was released.

    In 2003 Thomas Rettke, Sascha Paeth and Robert Hunecke-Rizzo took part in the recording of rock opera named "Days of Rising Doom / The Story of Aina".

    In 2005 musical co-operation of Thomas Rettke and Sascha Paeth was revived in Thomas Rettke project RedKey. Other members of the band are: Andre Borawski (guitar), Klemens Klarhorst (bass guitar), Daniel Eichholz (drums). Their album called "Rage of fire" will be released by "The A Label" on 23rd of June 2006.


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