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Review: The Gates of Slumber - Conqueror
The Gates of Slumber

Label: I Hate Records
Year released: 2008
Duration: 62:05
Tracks: 8
Genre: Heavy/Doom


Review online: October 16, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
Readers' Rating
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Rated 4.23/5 (84.57%) (35 Votes)

Now that's the stuff.  Several weeks ago I saw people discuss this album and the praise was almost unanimous, but I never got around to checking it out - mainly because there's only 24 hours in a day.  Simply put, this is traditional Heavy Metal mixed with a large dose of Doom Metal.  There's an omnipresent, albeit subtle feel of 70s Black Sabbath in most songs - even the vocal style; the vocalist sounds nothing like Ozzy, but some of his vocal melodies keep reminding me of his early work.  All the vocals here are clean - very clean in fact, but rather dark even for the most upbeat passages.  This style definitely adds a lot to the doomy feel of the album.  A perfect match for the equally "clean" music - the band plays tight as hell, not a note sounding out of place, with a clear sound that is thankfully not over-polished, leaving room for a bit of raw aggressiveness and sheer heaviness that one expects from a metal album with balls.

Conqueror's atmosphere is dark and sometimes a bit "apocalyptic" (for lack of a better word), mostly a slow to mid-paced affair that occasionally kicks it up a notch into faster, more upbeat style ("Children of Satan" is a good example - and one of my favourite songs on the album.)  The band successfully mixes the dark, somewhat occult sound of late 70s metal with a hint of 80s metal anthems (check out those air guitar-inducing solos springing out of nowhere), and the 2000's sound with modern production. At times I'm reminded of Goat Horn (R.I.P.), who played a similar style of metal, but I must say The Gates of Slumber are light years ahead in terms of songwriting and playing, Goat Horn having a less "polished" style (which still kicks serious amount of ass, don't get me wrong.)  That's the closest comparison to another band I can come up with.  The album is a bit on the long side at a little over an hour in playing time, but even though it feels long, it does so in a good way - not something you'll hear me say very often.  Speaking of which, I don't like reading nor writing long reviews, and there's no way to do this band and album justice in words alone, so go check 'em out.  Now.  Go!

More about The Gates of Slumber...
Review: Conqueror (reviewed by Daniel DGYDP Guerrero)
Review: Hymns of Blood and Thunder (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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