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The Gates Of Slumber - Hymns Of Blood And Thunder (CD)

The Gates Of Slumber
Hymns Of Blood And Thunder
by Yiannis Doukas at 10 November 2009, 5:32 PM

THE GATES OF SLUMBER is a huge band. As huge - actually - as their riffs, so heavy like a horde of dinosaurs walking behind you. And this will not change in their fourth album, following a very good release (Conqueror, out in 2008 by the cult I Hate Records label). It's obvious that the Indianapolis trio is running one of the most inspired eras in their ten years of career and it seems that nothing is able to stop them. Behind a new label now, the Dorrian-managed Rise Above Records, I believe that gradually they will gain more fans and surely they deserve it.
The basic influence for these Americans is ST. VITUS but their SABBATH-based Doom Metal has a lot of 'epic' feeling inside plus this specific element that made bands like CIRITH UNGOL the legends they now are. Probably because they are a trio they seem as well fitted as a fist giving to their tunes so much heaviness that it is very difficult not to catch your attention. Their characteristic easiness to write mid-tempo hits is here again and songs like Chaos Calling, Death Dealer or - the last one - Blood And Thunder will drive you to the Metal heavens.  
The Doom part is present in hymns like Beneath The Eyes Of Mars, the lyrical The Doom Of Aceldama (with the great solo inside like a rising smoke from the debris of a ruined city) and the HAWKWIND-ish intro of Descend Into Madness. The last one could be a soundtrack for a Lovecraftian nightmare and the female vocals in the refrain fit absolutely perfect. Female vocals are also present in the melancholic - a la When Emotion Dies (SAINT VITUS) - The Mist In The Mourning and the same mood tears you apart in the instrumental Age Of Sorrow (again, the solo is perfect).
This is one of the best Doom Metal bands from USA and when we say Doom we don't mean some stoner bullshits. I repeat, here we have a pure Heavy Metal trio that looks very close to the PENTAGRAM-based sound with some very good and passionate vocals, a bulldozer bass and an excellent drumming that in many parts of the above songs simply is the highlight (e.g. Beneath The Eyes Of Mars and The Doom Of Aceldama). The sound in Semaphore Studio should be a pattern of how you can really gain a heavy physical sound without the plastic cancer of today's albums; and this sound multiplies the listener's pleasure. Oh, and once again, the cover is fuckin' Metal.

4 Star Rating

Chaos Calling
Death Dealer
Beneath The Eyes Of Mars
The Doom Of Aceldama
Age Of Sorrow
The Bringer Of War
Descent Into Madness
Iron Hammer
The Mist In The Mourning
Blood And Thunder
Karl Simon - Guitars, Vocals
Jason McCash - Bass
Bob Fouts - Drums
Record Label: Rise Above Records


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