The Gates of Slumber was first conceived as a solo project by Karl Simon in 1998. When Simon’s band at the time went inactive, The Gates of Slumber became his full time ‘band.’ Various people were in and out of the group between 1998 and 2001 when the “Blood Encrusted Deth Axe” demo was recorded with Jamie Walters of Boulder on drums and Dr. Phibes/Athenar (later to form the cult black metal band Midnight) on bass. The songs on that recording were The Judge, The Executioner, Iron Heart, Lead Mind and Stitched Back From Deth. This line up did not ever gig as Phibes was too aloof and Walters had deeper commitments to Boulder.
In 2002 Simon moved back to Indianapolis and formed the band again with Brad Elliot and Chris Gordon on bass and drums respectively. The trio recorded the “Sabbath Witch” demo and started gigging. This line up first caught the interest of the international doom metal community and secured for themselves a spot at the first Born Too Late fest in Rochester, NY. Gordon quit the band on the eve of the fest appearance and Simon recruited long time friend Chuck Brown to play drums, this trio only played the Born Too Late fest as Elliot was tired of the doom metal scene and wanted to explore new career avenues.
Jason McCash joined the band in 2003. Shortly after the band did its third demo “The Cloaked Figure” and after recorded their debut album; it was released by Final Chapter Records in Belgium in 2004.
In 2005 the band recorded their second CD EP/LP entitled “Like a Plague Upon The Land” for Chris Barnes’ imprint label: Hellride Records. The band also toured for the first time with Thee Plague of Gentleman in Europe, gigs received extremely favorable reviews and the band would host fellow COTD band Reverend Bizarre in the Summer of 05 at Jason McCash’s Templars of Doom fest. At this fest and subsequent gigs in Cleveland, OH; Pittsburgh, PA and Rochester, NY the three bands most recognized as being COTD bands: Reverend Bizarre, The Gates of Slumber and Orodruin shared the stage.
After this summer mini tour, relations with Chuck Brown deteriorated and they parted ways. Brown went on to form the excellent Apostle of Solitude. The Gates of Slumber reunited one last time with Chris Gordon and released what some consider to be their best record: Suffer No Guilt. This record saw the band begin to fuse the true metal sounds of bands like Manilla Road and Cirith Ungol with their Saint Vitus inspired doom metal. The record was released on Sweden’s I Hate and garnered a great deal of praise. Suffer No Guilt featured some of the bands longest and heaviest songs. The band did a mini tour of the US with Earthride following the sessions; later that same year another brief string of dates with Slough Feg saw the departure of Chris Gordon for the last time.
“Iron” Bob Fouts joined the band not long after. The band supported Reverend Bizarre on their Death Marchfarewell tour across Europe. Again the reviews for the live show were very flattering, with Fouts’ impeccable drumming laying down the solid foundation to make the songs of Suffer No Guilt shine out. The band took the rest of 2006 off. In 2007 the band embarked on another full European tour with Earthride this tour saw The Gates of Slumber headlineDoom Shall Rise. After this tour the band began writing songs for their 4th CD: Conqueror. Released in the US/Can on Profound Lore and by I Hate in Europe, it was recorded by acclaimed producer Sanford Parker. Conqueror saw the band begin to gain some attention in the U.S. Decibel Magazine proclaimed Conqueror the 5th most important album of 2008, and MTV2 played the video clip for “Trapped in the Web” for an entire month on the Headbangers Ball.
After the sessions for Conqueror the band did not practice or gig for several months. The subsequent appearance at Germany’sKeep It True fest was lackluster and plagued with technical difficulties. In the fall of 2008 The Gates of Slumber teamed up with local Thrash Metal band Demiricous for a full U.S. tour. The band took a few months off to record for their Rise Above debut: Hymns of Blood and Thunder. This record was again recorded by Sanford Parker in the Summer of 2009. The band saw no action until the start of 2010 when they supported Doom Metal legends Pentagram on an east coast tour.
Following this tour the band appeared at SXSW and did a full US tour with Weedeater. An appearance at Roadburn Fest was ruined by the Icelandic Volcano incident, however a UK tour supporting Cathedral went off as planned. Upon their return to the US Bob Fouts quit the band. Various fill in drummers saw them through gigs the rest of the summer. In early fall. “Cool” Clyde Paradis joined the band. Recently they have returned to the stage, and are slated to support Cathedral on a full European tour and to record their 6th effort entitled “The Wretch” for Rise Above Records.