The Gates Of Slumber - Conqueror
I Hate Records
True Doom
8 songs (1:02:01)
Release year: 2008
The Gates Of Slumber, I Hate Records
Reviewed by Goat

According to time-worn traditions, this review should be full of dragons, beauteous yet grubby maidens, and eight-foot tall barbarians clad in bearskins. After all, what else do bands like The Gates Of Slumber stand for? This is True Doom, much like Communist Russia in many ways. Just like the USSR, True Doom spends more time arguing over who is more ‘true’, who sticks closer to the pure path, than it does actually achieving anything. And just like the USSR, the genre is in danger of collapsing when faced with opposition from more outwardly flexible rivals. Still, no-one ever listened to a True Doom album because they wanted experimental music, and so listening to the latest album from Indiana-based purists The Gates Of Slumber is rather like beating yourself around the head with a Black Sabbath CD. The influences are obvious – apart from the Sabs, there’s a bit of 80s Heavy Metal in there, resulting in an hour’s worth of slowness that will make any self-respecting Doomster bang his head and throw the horns ad infinitum.

Guitar, bass and drums are all executed magnificently, and Karl Simon’s vocals manage to be fairly tuneful. The songs are all fairly well-written and manage not to overstay their welcome, even sixteen-minute finale Dark Valley Suite. There’s nothing very different between the songs – here’s a highlight: the title track features the words ‘by this axe I rule’ – but there is a sort of Stoner vibe to some songs, such as Ice Worm’s Pentagram meets Kyuss jamming. Being fair, most of the music contained herein could be suitably described as ‘awesome’, as there’s few moments not filled with a kickass groovy riff or solo. The Gates Of Slumber understand what their audience want, that’s for sure. Whether their audience want songs such as Children Of Satan about ‘the glorious sons of Ishmael’ heeding Khartoum’s call and going on a rampage (‘submit to Allah, else your women = our whores’) is debatable, but even Michael Moore would admit that it’s a great song.

Ultimately, Conqueror is a great album that would appeal to a wide range of Metal fans were they to get the chance to hear it, but unfortunately less people are into this type of music than you’d think. Whilst Black Sabbath are generally worshipped by younger Metalheads automatically as the band that started the ball rolling, few are interested in listening to bands that follow in their path. The Gates Of Slumber are a kickass Doom band, what more do you need? Experienced Doomheads will already be listening, newcomers: take a chance.

Killing Songs :
Trapped In The Web, Conqueror, Eyes Of The Lair, To Kill And Be King, Dark Valley Suite
Goat quoted 84 / 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 - The Awakening reviewed by Ken and quoted 85 / 100
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