The legendary doom masters from Indianapolis THE GATES OF SLUMBER return with “Stormcrow”, an EP that may constitute the (premature) ultimate the surprise of the year. Sure, great quality material from a band like THE GATES OF SLUMBER never comes as a big surprise; actually someone could say that two are synonymous but “Stormcrow” came practically out of nowhere and this small disc surpasses any expectations.
If you thought “The Wretch” sounded too much like another great band then perhaps you will find that “Stormcrow” feels like the natural continuation of it…towards the right path. Sure, there are moments that the band reminds of SAINT VITUS but at the same time we get tributes to their own proud back catalogue especially the pre-“Hymns of Blood and Thunder” era. No, “Stormcrow” is not a senseless return to the old stuff; it is the beginning of something new and exciting, something that mix everything the band has learned all these years.
Bob Fouts’ drumming is immediately recognizable and I am sure there is a great deal of fans who are more than excited with his come-back. However, what impressed me the most in this record is the sound of the bass, which is louder than ever, making “Stormcrow” as the heaviest collection of compositions the band ever released. Let’s not forget to mention that “Stormcrow” packs some of the best guitar solos Karl Simon ever wrote. Finally, the lyrics seem more mature and it is actually the first time I felt they have a strictly allegorical orientation.
While most of the newer bands in Metal are struggling to release something average after a couple of albums, THE GATES OF SLUMBER at their thirteenth year existence, after three demos, four EP’s, five full length albums and three split records, are able to release something that can easily turn into an all-time fan favorite. THE GATES OF SLUMBER is what is best in life next to crashing all enemies, seeing them driven before you and listening to the lamentation of their women…