|Review: The Gates of Slumber - Hymns of Blood and Thunder|
|Hymns of Blood and Thunder|
Label: Rise Above Records
Year released: 2009
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: October 5, 2009
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
for:Hymns of Blood and Thunder
Rated 3.71/5 (74.29%) (28 Votes)
I've been trying to get into this band ever since Suffer No Guilt, and while I still don't think they are awesome, they are growing on me. The Gates of Slumber are a deeply retro Doom band, playing 70's style Sabbath-tribute songs obsessed with Conan and other barbarian subjects. On the surface that sounds awesome, but their execution has always put me off.
The biggest stumbling block is the vocals of Karl Simon, who has a whiny tone and maybe a three or four note range. On past albums I have found his vocals too damned painful to listen to, but I don't know. Either he sounds better this time or I'm getting used to him, because his voice doesn't render the album unlistenable this time out, it just sounds vintage. The guitar tone could be a lot heavier, as this is a bit smoother than I expect from Doom, but it has a seriously old-school tube-amp feel to it that works for the style of music at hand here. The riffs are fucking awesome on this thing, and the crunching Sabbath-worship goes a long way towards making up for other faults.
If you go into this expecting anything modern-sounding you will be way off, as this is trying really hard to sound like it was recorded in 1976. You have to kind of go with the whole retro vibe and just let this album do its thing. Hymns of Blood and Thunder may be trying a little too hard to be a Black Sabbath album, but the arcane, old-school riffery cannot be argued with. Worthy.
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