Review : THE GATES OF SLUMBER – "The Wretch"

The Gates of SlumberThe Wretch
Release date: 2011May10 (US)
Label: Rise Above Records / Metal Blade
Rating: 5/5

The Gates of Slumber return with The Wretch, their first album since 2009’s Hymns of Blood and Thunder. This time, they’ve traded the skullduggery for a sound that more closely emulates one of their influences, Saint Vitus (on a side note, if you’re not familiar with Saint Vitus, pick up a copy of Born Too Late).

“Bastards Born” opens with a plodding pace mated to heavy, punishing bass licks courtesy of Jason McCash. It sets the mood for a night of endless boilermakers, which led me to the “Scourge of Drunkeness”. The pounding drums of J.Clyde Paradis sync up with the current throbbing in my head, followed by piercing vocals of Karl Simon. Ouch!

Speaking of Karl Simon, he still positively channels Wino with the somber “Castle of the Devil”, and  “Coven of Cain” sounds like a Born Too Late tune literally emerged too late. While solid, I think “Iron and Fire” should have followed “Coven of Cain”. “Iron and Fire” embodies everything that The Gates of Slumber stand for, and cements their status as one of the pillars of modern doom metal. The Wretch is an album that people will be talking about for the next 20 years and should surely inspire the young hellions of today to carry the mantle.

Try: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8

01. Bastards Born
02. The Scourge of Drunkeness
03. To The Rack with Them
04. Day of Farewell
05. Castle of the Devil
06. Coven of Cain
07. The Wretch
08. Iron and Fire

~Brad Barratt


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