The Gates Of Slumber The Wretch

The Gates Of Slumber The Wretch
Opener "Bastards Born" sets the tone immediately on this classy full-length from Indiana's finest purveyors of blue-collar doom and tried-and-true trad. And that tone is heavy ― the bass drum sound alone is a thing of beauty, the riffs oozing like Iommi, the tempo a comfortable Forest of Equilibrium slog, the song a thing of Trouble- and Candlemass-inspired beauty. "The Scourge ov Drunkenness" showcases the other side of the band's personality ― that poverty level take on old traditional metal, the bootlegged-by-Banzai/Enigma-passed-on-album-number-three sound ― one that truly gets better with age. "Day of Farewell" hammers the repetitive doom rock riffing home powerfully. "Castle of the Devil" takes an eight-minute interlude into Savatage/Crimson Glory power ballad/power metal places and, amazingly, it's a success. "To the Rack with Them" proves they can write a just over three-minute metal song just fine, while the title track is the perfect summation of what this band do best: eight-plus minutes of plodding doom, with that classic metal touch, never retro or cheesy, just total homage to total metal. (Rise Above)