|Review: The Gates of Slumber - Conqueror|
Label: I Hate Records
Year released: 2008
Review online: October 16, 2008
Reviewed by: Michel Renaud
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!
|Other related information on the site|
|Review: Conqueror (reviewed by Daniel DGYDP Guerrero)|
Review: Hymns of Blood and Thunder (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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