Archive for heavy metal

The GATES OF SLUMBER (U.S.) “…the Awakening” CD review by www.metal-observer.com

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , on August 1, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

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

by www.metal-observer.com

By Ailo

In a time when Doom Metal is at its highest point of popularity ever, a storm of re-issued classics is sure to follow. While not quite reaching the status of legends, Minneapolis three-piece THE GATES OF SLUMBER have been crushing skulls since 1998, years ahead of the renaissance of Doom. Their first full-length “The Awakening” was unleashed upon the world in 2004, and proudly carries the banner of Traditional Doom. This newly issued version features artwork by Ken Kelly (known from Manowar’s ultra-masculine covers), and the bonus track “The Cloaked Figure” from their 2004 demo of the same name.

For the uninitiated, THE GATES OF SLUMBER have made a name for themselves through offering extensive tribute at the temple of SAINT VITUS, while imbuing their axes with a hefty dose of MANILLA ROAD-style Heavy Metal. The trifecta is completed by an affinity for Robert E. Howard’s fantasy epics, forming a strong brew of heaviness served in a grimly repurposed skull. The band’s love for the low-fantasy chronicles of Conan serves the music well as a general theme, grounding the dark epic sound which never descends into anything overtly cheesy.

The main drawback of “The Awakening” comes with the segments of pure VITUS-worship. These crawling bleak moments serve only as a platform from which huge riffs can evolve, and bring little to the table when left to simmer for a while. However, when the riffs and solos explode, the results are often neckbreaking. Songs like “The Jury” and “The Executioner” are the musical equivalent of a battleaxe in the gut, and a celebration of all things heavy. At times the vocals fail to live up to the pounding melodies, and a generally rough-around-the-edges sound bear witness to a band that are still finding their stride. On that note, it’s worth noting that many of these songs are repurposed from earlier demos, stretching as far back as 2000.

In retrospect, THE GATES OF SLUMBER have proven to be one of the most stalwart purveyors of Traditional Doom Metal, and “The Awakening” testaments that their path has not strayed. While not as immediately captivating and refined as their 2009 masterpiece “Hymns Of Blood And Thunder”, their debut is still worth its salt in grimy crawls and triumphant gallops. This re-issue is definitely worth picking up for anyone who missed the album the first time around.

Rating: 7.5/10

Review link: www.metal-observer.com/articles.php?lid=1&sid=1&id=20121

The Gates of Slumber links:

Official Website: www.slumberingsouls.com/

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thegatesofslumber

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegatesofslumber

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/thegatesofslumber

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/The+Gates+of+Slumber

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

To purchase The GATES OF SLUMBER “…the Awakening” CD and other The GATES OF SLUMBER merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=gates+slumber

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

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , on July 28, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

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

by From Beyond Metal Fanzine

By GV

Witnessing the horendas respuetstas of life, live in a Tower of Babel, where we do not know which starts and ends early existence, inevitably unequivocally, we are in a world pretentiously savagely and cruelly lacking valid responses and existentialists, is just diving into the deep sea of “unreality” and a vacuum postularnos full of inaccuracies, there at that place are very calm, in the presence and calm waiting for works such as this the reissue of the album which originally dates from 2004, just now published by the Abyys Records, skillfully takes us to what we might call proto doom rock, setentoso own about Black Sabbath, and definitive cornerstone reference ethos based sounds psychedelic and hippy, the dark, dream-inspired thematic discussion intrinsic life-death-reality-fiction. We have a formidable demonstration environments guitars and own the very same retro rockers and the aforementioned stoner-rock proto-doom, one reissue that is well worth taking into account, for his way of dealing with nobility and integrity a genre that refuses flatly to disappear, as long as there bands like The Gates of Slumber, we can rest assured, the cradle of Pentagram, Saint Vitus, Cathedral and precursors of “Circle of True Doom.”

Rating: 5/5

Review link: http://beyondmetal.blogspot.com/2013/07/the-gates-of-slumber-awakening.html

The Gates of Slumber links:

Official Website: www.slumberingsouls.com/

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thegatesofslumber

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegatesofslumber

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/thegatesofslumber

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/The+Gates+of+Slumber

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

To purchase The GATES OF SLUMBER “…the Awakening” CD and other The GATES OF SLUMBER merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=gates+slumber

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review by Christopher Latta

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , on July 20, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review

by Christopher Latta

By Christopher Latta

Maax’s second studio album is a fun slice of old school black/thrash metal.

When the subject of black metal is discussed, there are specific stereotypes and tropes that are sure to come up just about every time. Even when looking past the various crimes that were committed by the genre’s more infamous adherents, one is likely to call forth images of corpse-painted faces and hypnotic song structures aided by lo-fi production.

Maax seems to be one exception to that rule as they have disregarded the modern standards and opt for a more primal approach. While this is their second studio album, it happens to be their third release overall as they previously put out the Dawnbringer full-length in 2009 and the Six Pack Witchcraft EP in 2010.

Storming the Gates of Metal Black

Several listeners have tried to place Maax somewhere on the line between blackened thrash and death ‘n’ roll (The more you think about it, the more you realize how ridiculous the names of metal subgenres are these days), but their overall sound doesn’t seem to be too far off from what Venom was pioneering in the early 80s. This influence is best demonstrated on “Do What Thou Wilt,” an upbeat anthem that feels like a modern version of the classic “Welcome To Hell.”

But while Cronos and his merry bunch may be the leading influence on this group, it’s not the only one to be found on here. One can find clear references to punk, thrash, black metal, and even some classic Motorhead here and there. Fortunately all of these elements work well with one another, reminding one of how most of them had their roots in a singular dirty force.

Speaking of dirty, this album is also made distinct by its production. In a way similar to “Six Pack Witchcraft,” the production is incredibly raw and helps give the album a very live feel that works in its favor. The band itself doesn’t sound as distant as it did on the EP, but there is still a great deal of chaos and intensity to work with.

Speaking of the band, they generally put on some good performances though there’s nothing particularly mind-blowing on display. The production aids the guitar playing and drums, making them both sound quite filthy throughout. In addition, the vocals are delivered in a raspy, mid-range bark that makes one wonder if they should be cleaner or harsher. Either way, they carry the songs well and show off a lot of energy.

God Dethroned, The Devil Waits Below

In terms of how the songs themselves play out, Unholy Rock & Roll is somewhere between the two releases that came out before it. While the songwriting is generally more elaborate than Six Pack Witchcraft and has lengths similar to Dawnbringer, the songs are mostly executed in a very direct, upbeat fashion.

In addition to the Venom worship on “Do What Thou Wilt,” “Rot ‘N’ Roll” and the title track are by far the strongest tracks that this release has to offer. Not only are the riffs catchy, but they also throw in some solid gang vocals during the choruses that do a lot to benefit the barroom atmosphere.

The opening tracks known as “Coldest Steel” and “Fight With Fire” are also worth noting for they show off a nice touch of early 80s thrash influence. While this does lead to the tracks having introductions that are respectively similar to Metallica’s “Hit the Lights” and Slayer’s “Angel Of Death,” they quickly become their own tracks with the latter featuring a particularly pounding hook.

Of course, there are a few outliers that move away from the album’s largely rock-oriented nature. The interestingly titled “Purge of Depravity 2: The Pentagram” is a two minute interlude meant to serve as a melodic break from the violence while “Overthrone” seems to take cues from the band’s purer black metal roots. They might not be the most immediate tracks on here but they are still pretty solid in their more dramatic nature.

We Pray To Nothing Yet Receive All

As any musician will tell you, it is a nearly impossible task to capture the energy of a band’s live sound onto an actual studio release. However, Maax does manage to come pretty damn close to achieving this feat though they may still have a bit more work in terms of their songwriting skill.

But for what it’s worth, this may be their most enjoyable album to date and one of the most fun releases that 2011 has to offer. This isn’t a deep album by any stretch of the imagination, but rather one that’s meant to be blared in hopes of pissing off your neighbors. And judging by the lack of complaints that I’ve gotten from mine, I either have really awesome neighbors or just need to make it louder…

Current Highlights:

“Fight With Fire”

“Unholy Rock & Roll”

“Do What Thou Wilt”

“Rot ‘N’ Roll”

“Black Thrash ’em All”

Review link: http://christopherlatta.suite101.com/review-of-maaxs-unholy-rock–roll-a395915

Maax links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/maaxmetal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maaxmetal

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/maax

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Maax

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

Other links:

To purchase MAAX “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD and other Maax merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=maax

To preview a song from their 2010 release “Six Pack Witchcraft” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=giNCctZobOE

and to preview a song from their debut album “Dawnbringer” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uNDPFcYcdw

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

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , on July 19, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

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

by Totgehoert

By Luke

The Doomer of THE GATES OF SLUMBER since 1998 already grooving through the metal of the viscous kind enough reason the debut “… The Awakening” the dominions republish, thought themselves as well the people behind Abyss Records.

This will please the diehard fans especially, but the original in the nineties was hard to buy. The nine songs on the silver disc rotating about an hour and a whisk in the heavy style of Doom, which sometimes leaves traces of dirt on the doormat and the current brand of triplets, no longer fully. This may be because the mastermind Karl Simon was still standing as the sole culprit behind the name THE GATES OF SLUMBER. Therefore, the sound is most likely to REVEREND BIZARRE , BLACK SABBATH , and possibly also with ELECTRIC WIZARD compare, even if last-mentioned sound much deeper out of the box, as is the case with this album.

What then, the band has already proven is that they simply have it a kind of doom metal to play the catchy simple and really should be a much larger institution in this area. There are no hard parts in which one is waiting for finally happened. Instead, you feel relaxed and grooves here and there through the songs faster than it would expect one or the other. Clear that there is no mosh pit atmosphere arises. But that would be completely out of place. Since it is so much nicer to sit back and let all act in a couple of beers on it. A song up during the creation of this review and was running down ‘The Jury’. Let sink in. A perfect song to set the mood of the album, because it is backed only about one third are singing so well and to mitwippen invites on the deck chair.

Conclusion: Then as now, a great band. Who wants to get the nineties sound of the band home, just look over at Abyss Records. It’s worth it! “… The Awakening” was originally published in 2004 Final Chapter Records.

Rating: 9/10

This review was originally written in German and has been translated using Google Translate. To view the original review in German click the link below.

Review link: http://totgehoert.blogspot.de/2013/07/cd-review-gates-of-slumber.html

The Gates of Slumber links:

Official Website: www.slumberingsouls.com/

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thegatesofslumber

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegatesofslumber

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/thegatesofslumber

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/The+Gates+of+Slumber

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

To purchase The GATES OF SLUMBER “…the Awakening” CD and other The GATES OF SLUMBER merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=gates+slumber

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

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , on July 18, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

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

by www.metalwave.it

By Carnival Creation

The The Gates of Slumber, Doom Metal trio of Indianapolis, in Italy might not say much but at least represent a reality in the United States arrived at the finish line of the fifth studio work for thirteen-year career from the very first demo ‘Blood Encrusted Deth Axe’ of the year 2000. After the EP ‘Stormcrow’ this year, they decided to publish an edition of our “expanded” their debut album ‘The Awakening …’ in 2004 with new artwork, a slightly modified track-list and the ‘inclusion of the bonus track “The Cloaked Figure” for a total duration is around this time that all’oretta poor instead of the previous three quarters of an hour. A choice maybe a little ‘too commercial but certainly some might think Karl Simon, Jason McCash and drummer Jason McCash (even if ‘… The Awakening’ Chuck Brown sat behind the drums) have honored a career with something that could seriously affect fans of Doom Metal that never goes out of style too much from traditional norms sabbathiano, and how could the end? The tracks on the platter play dirty enough to be able to venture a little ‘Stoner here and there but this is a personal thought, the Heavy Classic survives always faster even in episodes such as “The Executioner” but does not get too excited. Not lives much stylistic research, in fact, so it is obvious that The Gates of Slumber are not interested in disrupting the Doom Metal or to contribute to its potential evolution, far from it: they do what they love to do. Point. tracks, one of my personal taste, I have remained too closely tied to the long clichés a bit ‘annoying and boring but the fact remains that the band knows how to play and rewards collected over the years will continue undeterred. Recommended mainly to the fans.

Rating: 63/100

This review was originally written in Italian and has been translated using Google Translate. To view the original review in Italian click the link below.

Review link: www.metalwave.it/viewrece.php?id=5201


The Gates of Slumber links:

Official Website: www.slumberingsouls.com/

Myspace: www.myspace.com/thegatesofslumber

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thegatesofslumber

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/thegatesofslumber

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/The+Gates+of+Slumber

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

To purchase The GATES OF SLUMBER “…the Awakening” CD and other The GATES OF SLUMBER merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=gates+slumber

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review by www.metalteamuk.net

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , on June 29, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review

by www.metalteamuk.net

By Martin Harris 

The distinctive cover art on this release is reminiscent of booze infused biker rock and metal which is actually not too far from depicting the musical output of Maax. An investigation into the bands previous output reveals that their debut has a more serious black metal side compared the 2010 EP which set the scene nicely for the thrash ‘n’ roll infested wrangling of the sophomore effort. The bands music focuses on the blackened side of things in terms of the riffing and vocal styles but sits extremely comfortably in heavy metal on the bass angle. Opening tune is “Coldest Steel” and immediate thoughts of black thrash appear due to the snarling vocals and the slightly chaotic structure of the song. There is also a sleaze façade to Maax’s music that sounds weird but works in a way that Gehennah, Inferno, Bewitched did on their debuts only this is much cleaner to listen to. Next is “Fight With Fire” which has a decent Araya type scream and very early Slayer like speed riff. The riff is intensified further as the song changes gear and is out into the fast lane. Vocals remind me of Legion (ex-Marduk) being throaty and rasping but transparent to decipher. I’ll never tire of hearing motorbike revving to start a song as the title track is given this and the first signs of black thrash ‘n’ roll are manifested. The bass solo is excellent creating that dirty filth texture of someone like Motorhead or even early Venom, an influence that pops up on “Do What Thou Wilt” and is very close to “Welcome To Hell” on the riff. Namesake songs are trademark for this style of metal and Maax are no different with theirs which has a 70s/80s Motorhead driven riff after the opening of cans and the sound of the band members gaseously evacuating their stomachs. The Venom touch still potters about in this song with the catchy beat as it does on a lot of songs here. “Rot And Roll” is a cracking song and weaned purely out of AC/DC on the riff only much heavier and with Priest and Saxon hooks added to create a decent heavy metal tune to bang your fucking head to. I know people who will also say this has Montrose riffing which they will either agree with me or not when they hear this song. Ah the acoustic interlude, very heavy metal, very retro and very relevant for this release as it serves as the gateway to “Overthrone” which is a far nastier and uglier song overall. The double kick and blast work to bolster the fury of the song with the barking vocals. The closing trio of tracks on this album follow a similar template with “Black Thrash Em All” leading the way as the songs title hints before “Deliverer” brings about some Frost/Hellhammer hooks. Closing tune “One More Time” is prime heavy metal with a blackened edge. The lead is excellent and prolonged and extremely tuneful, hummable even, in a 1980s manner. This was a welcome addition to my end of year reviews and with end of year lists looming this is going to be a close one in my top 20 or 30.

Review link: www.metalteamuk.net/dec11reviews/cdreviews-maax.htm

Maax links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/maaxmetal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maaxmetal

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/maax

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Maax

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

Other links:

To purchase MAAX “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD and other Maax merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=maax

To preview a song from their 2010 release “Six Pack Witchcraft” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=giNCctZobOE

and to preview a song from their debut album “Dawnbringer” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uNDPFcYcdw

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review by Mundo Rock & Heavy

Posted in Abyss Records Artists Reviews, Reviews with tags , , , , on June 1, 2013 by Michael McCoy II

MAAX (U.S.) “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD review

by Mundo Rock & Heavy

By Mundo Rock & Heavy

With a heavy metal laden dark enough to appear black in these American vocal Maax, a group heavily influenced by the sound of bands like Venom Voivod or the first, with some high doses of rock’n’roll in his image and proposed that put in a similar seat belt and also the latest Chrome Division. Pure metal hesitated pichanguero totally drunk and yet so fierce that causes addiction easily. In fact also have a touch of the same early NWOBHM Venom, or people as bleak as Atomkraft or Deepswitch. As we pulled out of hell great tracks in the form of “Coldest Steel”, “Fight with fire”, “Do what thou wilt” an incontestable riffero attack by Kyle Kreider and Brett Schlägel that will make anyone hallucinate hallucinate even with return to sound more and more primegenios more primitive metal Satanists. Needless to say, husky voice and corrosive Tim Green, who will make the floor shake him Cronos himself. Other pieces of topics are “Maax” and that thrashero “Rot ‘n’ roll.” Pure black metal heavy true only for wicked souls and not afraid to go into hell to find these Maax with this second installment. More info and details and in http://www.myspace.com/maaxmetal http://www.reverbnation.com/maax.

Rating: 8.5/10

This review was originally written in Spanish and has been translated using Google Translate. To view the original review in Spanish click the link below.

Review link: http://mundorockheavy.blogspot.com/2011/12/maax-unholy-rock-and-roll.html

Maax links:

Myspace: www.myspace.com/maaxmetal

Facebook: www.facebook.com/maaxmetal

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/maax

Last fm: www.last.fm/music/Maax

Abyss Records links:

Label & Online Music Store: www.officialabyssrecords.com

Myspace: www.myspace.com/abyssrecordsofficial

Facebook: www.facebook.com/OfficialAbyssRecords

Reverbnation: www.reverbnation.com/label/abyssrecords

Last fm: www.last.fm/label/AbyssRecords

Youtube: www.youtube.com/user/MinionfortheAbyss

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AbyssRecords

Other links:

To purchase MAAX “Unholy Rock & Roll” DIGI CD and other Maax merchandise go to: www.officialabyssrecords.com/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=maax

To preview a song from their 2010 release “Six Pack Witchcraft” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=giNCctZobOE

and to preview a song from their debut album “Dawnbringer” go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uNDPFcYcdw