SACRED GATE is a traditional heavy metal band from Mönchengladbach, West Germany, formed by Nicko Nikolaidis (guitars), Jim Over (vocals), both of Greek origin, and Holger Zimmermann (drums) in March 2008, but the musicians were not newcomers. They had been previously playing together in MADE OF IRON (formed in 1999), which originally was a cover band of Iron Maiden, but then started writing original material.
Still as MADE OF IRON they released the first self-titled demo in December 2002 and the second demo "King of All Kings" in March 2003. In October 2003 Anger Of Metal Records released their 7'' EP "Made of Iron" which included the songs "Made of Iron" and "Fight for the Cross... Die for Jerusalem", that are still included in the SACRED GATE live sets. The first and only, again self-titled, full-length album of MADE OF IRON was released in December 2004 by the Greek label Sonic Age Records.
Three years after the split of MADE OF IRON, the band members (except for the bass player) decided to have a fresh start, under the name of SACRED GATE. In October 2008 Peter Beckers joined, responding to an internet announcement of Nicko that the band was searching for a bass player. Christian Wolf joined the band in April 2010 and replaced Holger Zimmermann on the drums.
SACRED GATE headlined several local shows in Germany, including a mini festival Metal Night Neuss.
On 18th of November 2010 the band entered the Metallurgy Studio in Mönchengladbach and recorded 9 songs for their debut CD. However first, on 24th of September 2011, the band released their self-produced EP "Creators of the Downfall" that received very good critics and reviews from all over the world. The EP contained 3 studio songs (which would later be found on the band's first full-length) plus 3 live cuts.
Meanwhile SACRED GATE caught the interest of Metal On Metal Records, that upon listening to the full album, titled "When Eternity Ends", offered the band a deal to release it in April 2012.
A few weeks before the album release date SACRED GATE recruited the second guitarist, Rainer Schaffranietz (who played in a traditional heavy metal band METAL SWORD in the early '80s). He played three shows with SACRED GATE, but in the end the band decided to part ways with him.
"When Eternity Ends" was released on April 27th and is a perfect album for all those who love their metal the way it was back in the day: classic and without experimentations. Jim's charismatic vocals, dynamic, melodic and full of passion, Nicko's extravagant guitar work with fantastic solos, mighty riffs and double lead harmonies, Peter's remarkable bass lines and Christian's solid power drumming are the trademark of SACRED GATE. The catchy choruses, the impressive song structures and the intelligent lyrics prove the musical ability and potential of the band. The album received many great reviews and was most often compared to the works of IRON MAIDEN (especially circa "Seventh Son...") and to ICED EARTH.
At the end of 2012 SACRED GATE recruited Björn Walde as the second guitar player. Before the official announcement was made in January 2013, Björn had played two concerts and with this battle test proven to be a the right and fitting choice. More shows were soon scheduled - the band was confirmed for 3 German festivals in 2013: Rage Against Racism in May, AUE Open Air in July and Metallergrillen in August.
In the meantime, the work on the follow-up to "When Eternity Ends" continued. Many songs had been written much earlier, so the recording process of the second album started quite soon after the debut was out: in October 2012 and finalized in just one month.
The sophomore album, entitled "Tides of War", released on April 19th 2013 through Metal On Metal Records, is a concept album about the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC. Not a surprising choice of subject, considering that 2 founding members (vocalist Jim and guitarist Nicko) have Greek origins. The new album is undoubtedly a more mature, more epic and more confident effort showing the band crystallizing their own style, and moving away a few steps from their main influence, IRON MAIDEN. The tale about the Spartans' and their allies' heroic fight for freedom is told in a really compelling way, not only through words, but also through music, with strong, melodic but rough vocals, outstanding guitar work and rock solid rhythm section.