Haunting The Chapel

Stream Gates Of Slumber The Wretch (Stereogum Premiere)

Gates Of Slumber strip things down on their fifth album The Wretch, distilling the vintage doom elements they’ve been nailing since 1998, showcasing the stellar songwriting that makes the St. Vitus-nodding Indianapolis true-metal trio so great. It’s not just the music they’ve scaled back on, they’ve also torn away conceptual layers from the lyrics. As highly quotable main man Karl Simon put it, “This record is frustration and disappointment put to music. No heroics this time, no swords; no sorcery. No fantasy. That stuff is OK; it’s fun…whatever, but we don’t feel it these days. This one is all about others let you down almost as much as you let yourself down.” He adds, with some salt: “It might not make sense to you, but then you probably only have the last two records as a digital download. That, or your world is summed up by someone else’s soundbite.” When posting “Blood And Thunder” from 2009’s Hymns Of Blood And Thunder, I mentioned they’d somehow managed to top Conqueror, one of my favorite albums of 2008. Well, against all odds, the guys have done it again: The Wretch is, without a doubt, their most compelling, complete album to date. Listen from start to stop on repeat:

The Wretch is out 5/10 via Rise Above/Metal Blade. It was recorded at London’s Orgone Studios with Jaime Gomez Arellano (Ghost, Angel Witch). The cover art comes from a painting by Arik “Moonhawk” Roper titled “Emerald Eclipse.” They’re great live. Check them out Orange Goblin and Naam:

05/28 – New York, NY @ Santos Party House
05/29 – Baltimore, MD @ Sonar (Maryland Death Fest)
05/31 – Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Music Hall
06/01 – Atlanta, GA @ The Earl
06/02 – New Orleans, LA @ One Eyed Jack’s
06/03 – Austin, TX @ The Scott Inn
06/04 – Albuquerque, NM @ The Launchpad
06/05 – Tempe, AZ @ The Clubhouse
06/06 – Hollywood, CA @ The Troubadour
06/07 – San Francisco, CA @ Bottom of the Hill
06/09 – Portland, OR @ Dante’s
06/10 – Seattle, WA @ Studio Seven
06/11 – Chicago, IL @ Double Door