New Gates Of Slumber – “Blood And Thunder” (Stereogum Premiere)

If you’re familiar with Indianapolis’s Gates Of Slumber, you’ll know last year’s Conqueror was appropriately titled: The Robert E. Howard-loving, St. Vitus/Cirith Ungol-influenced doom trio’s third album was deservedly among my favorite albums of 2008. Shockingly, they’ve topped it with album four, the also correctly titled Hymns Of Blood And Thunder. Holy. Like last time, they went into the studio with Sanford Parker, who gives the 10 tracks a Kull-like crunch with a dark vintage ambiance that feels dense but never cluttered. See, for example, the anthemic closer “Blood And Thunder.” It might seem strange to start with the finale, but in the case of Hymns Of Blood And Thunder, each piece is a worthy show stopper. This is truly meat-and-potatoes metal at its best. Feast on the epic album art while you take a listen.

The Gates Of Slumber – “Blood And Thunder” (MP3)

The Hymns Of Blood And Thunder:

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”

Hymns Of Blood And Thunder is out 9/29 via Rise Above.