The GATES OF SLUMBER (U.S.) “…the Awakening” CD review by

The GATES OF SLUMBER (U.S.) “…the Awakening” CD review


By Ian Markowitz

The Gates of Slumber is a band I had been fortunate enough to have heard through a friend, but I never had a chance to really sink my teeth into any of their releases. They bring a rather unique feel to a pretty saturated genre. Sure, they are plenty bluesy, but there’s a lot more than your standard blues riffs here.

Along with the cover art, the whole album feels kinda like a Conan The Barbarian comic. The songs tell a story and each one is a chapter in the overall concept. They didn’t go overboard and fall into the trap of losing focus on the music though. Each song stands on its own and the interlude track is even well written and well placed. The vocals are pretty standard doom fare, nothing astounding chops-wise, but creates a great atmosphere. Sounds kinda like a lower, more gravelly, angrier Ozzy. The guitar solos are frequent and extensive. Each one starts somewhere and goes somewhere and seems to sort of move the story along. Further, they do something I don’t think I’ve heard before: they have harmonized sections where both guitarists play together and then for a few measures they’ll diverge into separate and distinct melodies only to merge as a harmony again shortly after. It’s an ambitious maneuver and usually works great. Most of the album is very groovy and fun.

Now we get to the production, which I avoided mentioning before because I wanted to establish how much I like the album first. The whole thing sounds old and classic, but not entirely in a good way. I find that the guitar and bass tones are overall kind of dry. It’s not terrible production by any means, but it’s rough enough that it undercuts my enjoyment. Further, they clearly recorded without a click track, and given the ambitious nature of the drummer, it occasionally results in sounding like he is attempting technical feats he isn’t quite capable of. I’m sure he could play it with a metronome fine, but as it is, it sounds sloppy and I can’t focus on anything else when it happens. Thankfully, it only happens about three times in the whole album, and the rest is a psychadelic groove-fest.

The album as a whole attempts a lot, and succeeds more than it fails. Each musician is good at what they do and has clever and unique ideas to communicate. It’s groovy journey through the rebirth, trial, torture and redeath of some apparently unfortunate individual and it’s a great time. If you love downtempo, blues-laden rock, don’t let my criticisms dissuade you; despite its flaws, this is a highly enjoyable album.

E-Money out

SCORE – 7 out of 10

Review link:

The Gates of Slumber links:

Official Website:




Last fm:

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store:




Last fm:



To purchase The GATES OF SLUMBER “…the Awakening” CD and other The GATES OF SLUMBER merchandise go to:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: