Outside the Gate is the seventh album by English rock band Killing Joke, recorded between July and August 1987 and released in June 1988. It displayed a shift in style towards synthpop, and was poorly received by fans and critics alike.
Outside the Gate differs from all other Killing Joke albums in that the dominant instrument is the synthesiser instead of the guitar. Whilst guitarist Geordie Walker is present, his role is much reduced and drummer "Big Paul" Ferguson was dismissed by singer-keyboardist Jaz Coleman during the recording of the album due to irreconcilable musical differences. Bassist Paul Raven quit shortly afterwards, calling Coleman and Walker "a pair of ego-strokers". It is often considered to be more of a Coleman solo album than a true Killing Joke release, especially since Walker's guitars were minimalised in the final mix.
Outside the Gate was released in June 1988 by record label E.G. In Argentina the album was released with the title translated into Spanish as Fuera de la Puerta. The album reached number 92 in the UK Albums Chart.
Coleman has stated that the band's record company forced him (and Walker) to release the album under the Killing Joke name in order to best recoup its considerable production costs. For example, Coleman claims that £15,000 was spent just in trying to record Ferguson's drums, before he was ejected and entirely replaced by session player Jimmy Copley.
The album was not promoted with a tour and Coleman and Walker temporarily disbanded the group after its release as they became embroiled in a lengthy legal battle to extricate themselves from their recording contract.[dead link]
The original album was dedicated to Conny Plank, who had produced several Killing Joke records and had died in 1987. The reissue was dedicated to Paul Raven, who died in 2007, just like the other reissues of 2008.
Critical reaction to the album has been less than favourable. David Jeffries of AllMusic said that "pallid synths poorly imitate orchestras, the complex song structures are just tedious, Coleman acts as if he's Freddie Mercury and David Bowie mashed together, and none of the throb, thunder or heavy riffage so important to the Killing Joke name is to be found. [...] If you're anything but a very forgiving completist, pass on this one." Adrien Begrand of PopMatters qualified the record as "disastrous".