“What do I know of cultured ways, the gilt, the craft and the lie? I, who was born in a naked land and bred in the open sky. The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing; rush in and die, dogs—I was a man before I was a king.” ~ Conan/”The Phoenix on the Sword” (Robert E. Howard, 1932)
That, in a nutshell, was Indiana’s mighty Gates of Slumber: raw, barbarous, relentlessly hammering, and kingly. Now, with the recent exodus of bassist Jason McCash, GoS founder Karl Simon (guitar/vocals) has decided to lay the band to rest:
From their forum at Hellride:
Sure, Karl probably could have found someone else to step in and fill McCash’s colossal boots for their recently announced US tour with Japan’s steamrolling Church of Misery, but this has always been a Simon/McCash endeavor, basically from day one.
The good news? They leave behind a wealth of material that will endure the ages and hammer skulls into the dirt… Until there are no more skulls left to hammer. Five full-lengths, five EPs, and three splits – all with extensive clobbering capacity.
‘The Executioner’ – from 2004’s …the Awakening. “Take his head. He will know the law.” A suprisingly fast and deadly stroke.
‘Dweller in the Deep’ – from 2006’s Suffer No Guilt. “And in its grip, sanity falls.” A relentlessly heavy face drubbing from shoggoth’s glutinous fist.
‘Conqueror’ – from 2008’s Conqueror. “Hard, his will. Grim, the song he sings.” I will always love that acid lead that rips through around the 5:00 mark.
‘Beneath the Eye of Mars’ – from 2009’s Hymns of Blood and Thunder. “The blasphemy of swords kept clean.” That (unexpected) swirling keyboard flourish in the last half of the tune really nails it home.
‘Bastards Born’ – from 2011’s The Wretch. “There can be no hiding from the monster in your mirror.” This was by far the darkest, heaviest record the band produced. A masterstroke of pummeling doom.
Heavier and woollier than the woolliest of mammoths: The Gates of Slumber came, they warred, and they conquered; now it’s time to draw the curtains and see what the battlers might do next. Until then, thanks for the walloping under the GoS banner, fellers.