The Gates Of Slumber Bio:
Remember the time when Conan strapped your head to the Anvil of Crom, and then three bearded, burley bastards bludgeoned it to a bloody pulp using a giant hammer forged of Wrought-Iommi? Well, it’s that time again as bruising Indianapolis bashers THE GATES OF SLUMBER deftly defy death on their latest volcanic eruption, Hymns of Blood & Thunder.
THE GATES OF SLUMBER encapsulate the metal experience for true believers. The Indianapolis doom metal trio formed in the late 1990’s with the goal of creating a band whose sound delivered an updated take on the member’s long list of favourite Heavy Metal greats. Weaned on Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, the melodic might of Iron Maiden and a host of classic bands from Thin Lizzy and Rainbow to Mercyful Fate, THE GATES OF SLUMBER draw deep from Heavy Metal's most powerful blood and deliver Doom in its purest form.
The band’s hotly anticipated new album, Hymns of Blood & Thunder drops on the heels of the brightest and busiest year in the respected power-trio’s history; one that saw THE GATES OF SLUMBER pack clubs during its first U.S. headlining tour and land atop many year-end media polls with Conqueror, an album that was hailed as “a breath of fresh air within the Doom / True metal underground.” The record placed at the #5 position in Decibel’s "Top 40 Albums of 2008" and made Village Voice Media’s "Top 10 Metal Albums of 2008", joining an impressive list of some of the genre’s finest including AC/DC, Judas Priest and Metallica.
Now signed to the highly respected Rise Above Records, THE GATES OF SLUMBER unleashes its holy grail; the formidable Hymns of Blood & Thunder. A mighty document of both powerful song-writing and instrumental skull-crushing, the album is heavy and chillingly bleak in an almost unrelenting way that hadn't been heard since Judas Priest's heyday (Sad Wings of Destiny, Sin After Sin, etc.). Displaying a newfound focus and direction and demonstrating a very compelling emotional range, THE GATES OF SLUMBER have upped its levels of both technique and melody, resulting in an album that is at once frighteningly dark in its effect, tight in its grooves and unrivalled in the sheer power of its jackhammer guitar riffs, all of which stamp the record an instant classic!
“I started working on songs for the new record with the goal in mind that it had to be a step forward for us compositionally as well as production wise,” THE GATES OF SLUMBER front man / guitarist Karl Simon remarks. “I knew that I personally wanted to work on more integrated and composed solos to allow for different sides of me to come out - sides that are more influenced by Judas Priest and The Scorpions, rather than the flurries of hammer-ons that I owe to Tony Iommi and Wino. The songs are more aggressive, more riff-y this time, but they also retain the musical elements that we've explored over the last couple of records. Lyrically it's a continuation of our obsession with war, and death and the fantasy worlds where those things are all so common and cool."
Hymns of Blood & Thunder is a sinister, muscular collection that ties the disparate strands of the band’s style together while jacking the adrenaline rush up to previously undreamed-of levels. The whole band is at the absolute peak of its powers in terms of technical execution and the result is a hard, driving sound that is harder, faster and louder. Produced and recorded in full analog at Chicago’s Volume Studios and produced by Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Lair Of The Minotaur, Pelican), the album’s crushing riffs brim with melody and solos “wail” as the strong vocals of front man Karl Simon and a storming rhythm section hammer home songs such as “Chaos Calling”, “Beneath the Eyes of Mars”, “Iron Hammer” and the galloping “Death Dealer”.
From the moment the album’s battering-ram sound kicks in, all the way through to its ominous title track closer, the group’s fourth full length rocks with a classic heavy-metal vengeance and a hooky, driving momentum that's usually absent in Metal's Doomy end. Like it or not, Heavy Metal is here, there and everywhere and THE GATES OF SLUMBER scores a head-banger's bull's-eye with Hymns of Blood & Thunder.
THE GATES OF SLUMBER has clearly become a new American voice for Underground Metal, and has done so with maximum conviction. With plans for serious worldwide touring on behalf of Hymns of Blood & Thunder, THE GATES OF SLUMBER is out to show why it is regarded as one of the most talked about heavy metal bands of our time.