THE GATES OF SLUMBER

"Hymns of Blood and Thunder" (Metal Blade; 2009)

Reviewed by Mike SOS

The Gates of Slumber’s spot-on presentation of the NWOBHM and doom style shines on their fourth release, "Hymns of Blood and Thunder."

This Indiana trio skillfully channels the creeping vibes of Candlemass, early Trouble, and St. Vitus to create a viscous wall of sound complete with brooding guitar solos (“The Doom of Aceldama”), thunderous drums (“Beneath the Eyes of Mars”), and a vocal warble that trembles with an authentic dollop of old school grit.

Showcasing a dastardly sense of dynamics, this unit convincingly pours out hypnotically thick riffs and calculated rhythms a la Cathedral (“Descent into Madness”) yet can still break into a balls out heavy dirge a la anything Wino (“The Bringer of War”) a Dio-era Sabbathian double time chugger (“Chaos Calling”) and veer into ‘70s classic heavy metal territory without losing an ounce of gloom (“Age of Sorrow”).

If you have a hankering for a solid slab of despair, this monolithic 10-track cornucopia of calamity may sound at times like a repeat but ultimately is a hard album to beat.

For more information, check out http://www.myspace.com/thegatesofslumber.

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2010 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 19 Feb 2017 18:25:02 -0500.