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The Gates Of Slumber completes new album

Thursday, July 23, 2009 11:59 AM PT
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Official press release:

Critically acclaimed "True Heavy Metal" band The Gates Of Slumber has completed work on its new studio album Hymns of Blood & Thunder. The album is slated to drop in North America on September 15, 2009 via Rise Above Records.

The Gates Of Slumber encapsulates the metal experience for true believers. Weaned on Black Sabbath, St. Vitus, the melodic might of Iron Maiden and a host of classic bands from Thin Lizzy to Rainbow to Mercyful Fate, The Gates Of Slumber draws deep from heavy metal's most powerful blood and delivers doom metal in its purest form.

The band's hotly anticipated new album, Hymns of Blood & Thunder drops on the heels of the brightest and busiest year in the respected power trio's history; one that saw The Gates Of Slumber pack clubs during its first U.S. headlining tour and land atop many year-end media polls with Conqueror, an album that was hailed as "a breath of fresh air within the doom / true metal underground." The record placed at the #5 position in Decibel's "Top 40 Albums of 2008" and made Village Voice Media's "Top 10 Metal Albums of 2008," joining an impressive list of some of the genre's finest including AC/DC, Judas Priest and Metallica.

Recorded in Chicago's Semaphore Studios with producer Sanford Parker (Nachtmystium, Pelican), The Gates Of Slumber unleashes its holy grail in the formidable Hymns of Blood & Thunder. A mighty document of both powerful songwriting and instrumental skull-crushing, the album is heavy and chillingly bleak; in an almost unrelenting way that hasn't been heard since Judas Priest's heyday (Sad Wings of Destiny, Sin After Sin, etc.). Displaying a powerful focus and direction and demonstrating a very compelling emotional range, The Gates Of Slumber have upped its levels of both technique and melody, resulting in an album that is at once frighteningly dark in its effect, tight in its grooves and unrivaled in its sheer power.

"Just prior to the band's 2008 U.S. headlining tour, I started working on songs for the new record with the goal in mind that it had to be a step forward for us compositionally as well as production wise," The Gates Of Slumber frontman/guitarist Karl Simon remarks. "I knew that I personally wanted to work on more integrated and composed solos to allow for different sides of me to come out - sides that are more influenced by Judas Priest and The Scorpions, rather than the flurries of hammer-ons that I owe to Tony Iommi and Wino. The songs are more aggressive, more riff-y this time, but they also retain the musical elements that we've explored over the last couple of records. Lyrically it's a continuation of our obsession with war, and death and the fantasy worlds where those things are all so common and cool."

Hymns of Blood & Thunder is a sinister, muscular collection that ties the disparate strands of the band's style together while jacking the adrenaline rush up to previously undreamed-of levels. The group is at the absolute peak of its powers in terms of technical execution and the result is a hard, driving sound that is faster and louder. From the moment the album's battering-ram sound kicks in all the way through to its ominous title track closer, the group's fourth full length rocks with a classic heavy-metal vengeance and a hooky, driving momentum that's usually absent in metal's doomy end. Like it or not, heavy metal is here, there and everywhere and The Gates Of Slumber scores a head banger's bull's-eye with Hymns of Blood & Thunder.

"I started working on "Hymns of Blood & Thunder" almost immediately after the "Conqueror" sessions," Simon continues. "From the first moment I began work on the music for this record, I knew that it was going to surpass everything on Conqueror; and it has. Each of the songs travels through its own movement. In place of "the epic song" or "the fast song" each of these tracks takes its turn being that: "Chaos Calling" is fast, but in the bridging mid-section you will be surprised by the feel change. "Beneath the Eye of Mars" is a grinding death march, until we invoke the deep influence of classic 70's metal in the song's "pause before the final fall". The album has its lush surprises as well. We've grown, and being true to that are not forgetting all that we have learned. Get ready to fail your saving throw v. shitting your pants."

The final track listing for Hymns of Blood & Thunder is as follows:

01. Chaos Calling
02. Death Dealer
03. Beneath the Eyes of Mars
04. The Doom of Aceldama
05. Age of Sorrow
06. The Bringer of War
07. Descent Into Madness
08. Iron Hammer
09. The Mist in the Mourning
10. Blood and Thunder


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