Friday, December 20, 2013

The Gates of Slumber - Stormcrow EP

The first time I went to review The Gates of Slumber’s “Stormcrow” EP, I lost the CD.  The second time they announced they broke up right before leaving on tour supporting Church of Misery.   Well, I found the disc and I’m not sure they are broken up completely, so why not write up the EP, right?

The Gates of Slumber are a doom metal band from Indianapolis, IN.  First and foremost, while Indiana is kind of a weird hotbed musical talent, not everybody knows it.  Let me tell you...Indiana is a great place to start a doom band.  The long, cold, grey winters provide the perfect atmosphere to stay inside and doom up.  It’s not a real cheery place.  Gates of Slumber have the doom sound DOWN.  It’s low.  It’s slow.  It’s heavy.  These guys are so DOOM that they refuse to acknowledge the ‘stoner‘ genre.  I don’t know, maybe it’s not heavy enough for them.  Scene politics and attitudes aside, these guys make a great doom metal record.

Released through the Scion A/V label, “Stormcrow” features five heavy hitting tracks.  Drummer ‘Iron’ Bob Fouts joins Karl Simon and Jason McCash (guitar and bass, respectively) on drums for this one.  I guess I should just get to the brass tacks...  My criticism of this album is my criticism of doom metal in general.  While I love slow and low riffs, it’s hard to tell what song I’m listening too.  I’m sure it’s just like anything else and I might not be the worlds biggest fan of “pure” doom, but I could use a little more in the dynamics category.  Conversely, this album was made for a small group of people in Europe and and even smaller group in the U.S.  Maybe I’m more of an outsider than I’d like to admit.

With that aside, I have no complaints.  Bob Fouts drumming fits in with Simon and McCash’s distorted rumble perfectly.  It’s fucking solid.  Especially standing out is the kick ass Bonham style drum intro to ‘(Devil’s Grip) Driven Insane’, making it the most standout song on the EP.  Karl’s guitar tone sells the whole thing by being heavy and loud without overdoing it, including the guitar solos.  McCash’s low-end rumble carries the riffs without to intrusive.  The EP is mixed and mastered well.  Then again, these guys aren’t rookies by any means. They have been released on Rise Above and Southern Lore Records, both giants in the genre.  They have been doing “Doom Metal from a time when basically no one was doing this shit”.  In the end, I hope these guys get together because I feel like they have more to contribute to the scene.  Purists are needed and these guys are definitely that for the doom world. 

The Grime

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