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The Gates of Slumber : Conqueror

I still remember the impression that The Gates of Slumber's first full length ('The Awakening', 2004) left on me - it was and still is among the best debut albums of the decade. 'Conqueror' is the band's third full length, which follows many EPs and a second full length which was released in 2006. The album's press release claims that this album is close in spirit to Manowar's 'Into Glory Ride' without sacrificing the epic, old school heavy/doom sound of the band. I would really like to meet the people who write these press releases, they must be fun people. Thankfully they didn't photograph the band in leather underwear for the cover of the record.

The album begins with 'Trapped in the Web', a strong, solid song that showcases the band's usual qualities. As the album progresses, the songs gradually become heavier and darker until the fifth track 'Children of Satan'. Lucifer surely helped them write this song, it's nothing less than a classic. I use the term 'classic' not just for the band's discography, or for the genre, but for the entire metal spectrum. For 'Children of Satan' alone, 'Conqueror' gets my vote for best album of 2008. The next song, 'To Kill and Be King', shows that the band can write slower songs without losing volume and power. 'The Machine' starts slowly and then speeds up, introducing us to the final track; the four part 'Dark Valley Suite...', a dark epic song that comes second only to 'Children of Satan'.

In summary, 'Conqueror' has a strong epic feel and somehow sounds like a tribute to the "noble barbarian" concept that writers like Robert E. Howard made popular in the 1930's. This album will find a spot in the collections of people who like bands like Doomsword, Manilla Road and Solstice. As for me, if 'The Awakening' was a perfect "10" then this receives a "9.99" only because I already knew what the band was capable of.

Reviewer's rating: Unrated


Tracklist :
1. Trapped in the Web
2. Conqueror
3. Ice Worm
4. Eyes of the Liar
5. Children of Satan
6. To Kill and Be King
7. The Machine
8. Dark Valley Suite:
    Black River I
    Lines Written With The Knowledge That I Must Die
    Call of the Black Gods
    Black River II

Duration : Approx. 62 minutes.

Visit the The Gates of Slumber bandpage.

Reviewed on 26-09-2009 by Dimitris Plastiras
Hate Your Guts Records
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