THE GATES OF SLUMBER (Suffer No Guilt) CD
Most of you are already familiar with this US Doom Metal band, and their debut 'The Awakening', which has been released on Final Chapter Records, was a very solid start. This wasn't the biggest surprise, because TGoS vocalist and singer Karl Simon entered the scene in the 90's with his band The Keep. It's sad, that they never released something official, but The Keep are history, so I will better write something about THE GATES OF SLUMBER's new album 'Suffer No Guilt'. If you're looking for Doom Metal, which is played in the tradition of bands like Saint Vitus or Count Raven, then the new album of this group will surely satisfy all your needs.
They don't try to break any new barriers with their war-driven Doom Metal, and especially the guitarwork of vocalist Karl Simon reminds me more than once to Dave Chandler, but the whole package here is still sounding very refreshing, because TGoS have also added a big dose of classic cult Metal (Cirith Ungol and Mercyful Fate) to their commanding sound. 'Suffer No Guilt' is a very varied album, which includes two epic tracks ('Suffer No Guilt' and 'God Wills It') as well as three atmospheric instrumentals. At first, I have had a few problems with the entire production, especially the drums are sounding a little bit too weak, but now I after a thousand of spins, I think, that the album has a very unique and interesting sound. 'Suffer No Guilt' can be seen as a concept album, because most of its songs are based on war and death, as for example 'God Wills It'. The song is about the crusades, but also about the complicated relation between Christians and Muslims.
Usually, most people condemn the Crusaders and Templars for what they did, but TGoS have enough courage to take another perspective, and especially the additional liner notes to this song are very profound and true. I can only share their point of view, and I'm always glad, when people aren't brainwashed by all this new fashion, which is hiding behind the term 'political correctness'. The title-track is another highlight here, with its slow and crushing riff attack, and an integrated up-tempo section in the middle, where the guitar bursts out from bass and drums just to explode into a wild solo orgy. 'Slay the Weak' is a pounding up-tempo rocker and the title speaks for itself. Karl Simon's vocals have definitely become one of the trademarks of the bands' sound, and it's meant as a praise, when one can't compare 'em with any other singer in the Doom Metal genre.
In opposite to the debut full-length, TGoS have open up their sound to other influences without losing their classic Doom Metal sound, and the result is very entertaining. Maybe one will need a few spins to discover the whole brute beauty of 'Suffer No Guilt', and maybe the entire mix could have been more balanced, but in the end, this album is a honest manisfesto of Doom Metal heaviosity. The album has been released by I Hate Records, which are on the best way to become the new Hellhounds of the current century.