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Thrashman’s Metal Pick Of The Week: The Gates Of Slumber’s “The Wretch” Is Some Damn Good Doom

Another week and another edition of The Oath means it’s time for my metal pick of the week. I’m slowing things down a little this time around with a band new to me, The Gates of Slumber and their new album, The Wretch.

I’m very selective when it comes to doom. I don’t really get into the long drawn out drone-“y” stuff as much as I like the more groovy doom like Trouble. Don’t get me wrong – I dig drone, just not when that’s the only thing that’s going on. The Wretch is a near perfect blend of groove, mellow stoner jams and big-ass, spacious drone.

The album opens with one of the slower, drone tracks on the album “Bastards Born”. A plodding drumbeat and a guitar riff that sounds like Tony Iommi on valium make up the meat and potatoes of a song that serves as a build up to the next ass-kicker of a tune “The Scourge ov Drunkenness”.

A full-on headbobber, “The Scourge ov Drunkenness” moves along at a relaxed, straight-forward rocking pace that keeps the stoners coming back. Definitely one of the best tunes…if not the best on an album chock full of ’em.

The energy stays a little higher with the third track on the album, “To the Rack with Them”. I love the verse riff with the dive at the end of it…it’s just one of those things you don’t see coming. Karl Simon’s vocals are way cool and this song is a good example of his ability to create a memorable vocal hook.

The Wretch even has it’s Pink Floyd moments…the most glaring to me is the intro riff to “Castle of the Devil”. These guys can’t possibly be potheads. I love it. I mean seriously…they’re from Indianapolis but they went to England to record in the winter just to get the perfect vibe. It worked.

The Gates of Slumber may be new to me but I plan on getting well acquainted with their older stuff (thanks to Spotify!). It’s nice to come across a band that’s been around for a while so you don’t have to wait for their next album to come out, you just pick up another one when you’re starting to get burned on the one you’re jamming. Fans of doom aren’t likely to be disappointed with this one.

The Wretch is out now on Metal Blade Records.


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