The Gates Of Slumber - The Awakening
Final Chapter
Doom Metal
7 songs (44:08)
Release year: 2004
The Gates Of Slumber
Reviewed by Ken
Archive review

Like progressive music, when it comes to doom metal there is a precarious balance of elements that dictate whether or not a band works well within the confines of its given style. Sometimes it works, but many times it fails, and thus you have a genre that is saturated with too many mediocre bands, overshadowing the bands worth listening to. Of course, taste also comes into play, but in general I feel that doom metal is a genre steeped in far too much mediocrity. Occasionally, though, a band comes along that just hits you when you least expect it and makes you realize you should probably wake up and open your eyes. Indianapolis doomsters The Gates Of Slumber are just that kind of band.

I first heard this band by way of the Metal Reviews messageboard and the song “Broken On The Wheel,” an excellent, heavy, mid- to fast-paced groover that brings to mind the glory days of Black Sabbath, dark, heavy and gritty with vocals that sound very similar to early Ozzy. The album, however, is not so up-tempo. It all begins with the 9-minute plus “The Awakening (Interpolating The Wrath Of The Undead)”, the first minute and a half is essentially an intro, a foreboding wind blows, church bells chime and the discordant screams of tortured souls permeate throughout. The rest of the song begins as a slow-paced doom metal masterpiece that lulls you into a its grasp with some excellent crawling riffs, funereal vocals and a melancholic solo. Then out of the gloom the band sets things ablaze, another wake up call. “The Judge” follows suit, but stays generally in the mid-tempo range.

The next track, “The Jury”, starts off with something reminiscent of the Cliff Burton instrumental “(Anasthesia) Pulling Teeth” from Metallica’s Kill ‘Em All album. A killer tune that is more up-tempo than the previous two, the main riff reminding me of “Strata” by Only Living Witness from their Innocents album. That leads into “Broken On The Wheel” and the fastest song on the album, “The Executioner.” Unfortunately, aside from the bass-lead, Last Chapter-like instrumental, “Blessed Pathway To The Celestial Kingdom,” this is the shortest song on the album, clocking in at 3:22. What little we do get is worth the price alone, a fast ball-breaker in the style of Candlemass’s recent “Black Dwarf.” The album comes full circle with “Blessed Pathway To The Celestial Kingdom” leading into “The Burial,” another 9-minute epic and the slowest song on the album; a great song that simply entraps you once again, a dead end that demands you retrace the path you had previously tread.

The Gates Of Slumber are doom metal. Nothing more, nothing less. No stoner jams, no female vocalists and weeping choirs, no violins or cellos, just skull-crushing, old school doom metal that brings to mind legendary bands like Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, Candlemass and even a little Celtic Frost. If you like it straightforward with no pretense then this band is deserving of your attention.

AUDIO: Broken On The Wheel

Note: In time these links will likely becoming outdated.

Killing Songs :
The Awakening, The Jury, Broken On The Wheel and The Executioner
Ken quoted 85 / 100
Other albums by The Gates Of Slumber that we have reviewed:
The Gates Of Slumber - The Wretch reviewed by Goat and quoted 80 / 100
The Gates Of Slumber - Hymns Of Blood And Thunder reviewed by Goat and quoted 86 / 100
The Gates Of Slumber - Conqueror reviewed by Goat and quoted 84 / 100
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