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Not Consciously Retro, Just Great Doom - 90%

FullMetalAttorney, May 11th, 2011

The Gates of Slumber have been a highly recommended band recently, by Metallattorney as well as others. So I decided to check out this Indiana band's latest.

The Wretch finds the Indiana band playing traditional doom metal--traditional as in a tried-and-true formula, not as in "retro". It's very much in the vein of Saint Vitus and (the criminally ignored) Lord Vicar. In other words you should know what to expect: slow- to mid-paced, heavy Sabbathian riffs, verse-chorus-verse structures, clean vocals, and a solo in every song. It's certainly nothing new. But when the music is this good, it doesn't have to be.

The band's sound is the perfect match of traditional doomy tones with a more modern, heavier production. The riffs are catchy and memorable, and the vocal hooks sing-along-worthy, especially on the slightly more uptempo numbers like "The Scovrge Ov Drvnkenness" and "To the Rack with Them". The solos are appropriate enough, and always have an effects pedal to set them apart from the rest of the song. The vocals are whiskey-soaked, conveying just the right amount of emotion while they tell a story.

Plus, it works perfectly as an album. There's a good variety, with moods that range from vengeful, to slobbering drunk, to sobering self-pity, among others. Regardless of their varying lengths, the songs are all captivating. And the runtime of just under an hour is perfect, rounded out with the sprawling "Iron and Fire".

The Verdict: It's not consciously retro, it's just done this way. It's just catchy doom metal with good riffs and great songs.

originally written for http://fullmetalattorney.blogspot.com/