Austin-based doom metal outfit Slumbering Sun — Monte Luna’s James Clarke (vocals), Destroyer of Light’s Keegan Kjeldsen (guitar), Temptress‘ Kelsey Wilson (guitar), Monte Luna‘s and Scorpion Child‘s Garth Condit (bass) and Destroyer of Light’s Penny Turner (drums) — is an All-Star band featuring members of Texas’ underground metal scene.
After the breakup of their previous band, James Clarke and Keegan Kjeldsen resolved to forget the bitter pain of an album that would never be released, by creating something new. They decided to start a new band with an album that Kjeldsen wrote between work on other projects. The pair continued the creative process at their rehearsal space with a few songs strummed on a clean, electric guitar: Clarke began to write melodies with the pair finishing lyrics.
Clarke and Kjeldsen recruited Temptress’ Kelsey Wilson, who made the commute from Dallas for writing and recruiting process. Scorpion Child’s Garth Condit and Destroyer of Light’s Penny Turner, who played in other bands with Clarke and Kjeldsen respectively were recruited to be the band’s rhythm section — and from that point on, Slumbering Sun was a full-fledged band.
Slated for a February 24, 2023 CD, cassette and digital release with a vinyl release over the summer, because of pressing plant delays, the Austin-based doom metal outfit’s full-length debut The Ever-Living Fire was recorded in a week-long recording session this past summer. Sonically, The Ever-Living Fire sees the members of Slumbering Sun exploring broader melodies while being inspired by Celtic folk, doom metal like Warning, as well as beloved 90s classics like Soundgarden and Alice In Chains.
Late last year, I wrote about the expansive “Liminal Bridges.” Centered around a song structure featuring an atmospheric introduction with swirling shoegazer-like textures, followed by stormy, power chord-driven riffage and thunderous drumming paired with Clarke’s melodic crooning and some enormous, arena rock friendly hooks, The Ever-Living Fire‘s first single sonically brings The Sword and others to mind — but with a prog rock-leaning sensibility.
Clocking in at a little over 8:30, The Ever-Living Fire‘s second and latest single “Dream Snake” further establishes the Austin doom outfit’s penchant for expansive song structures: Opening with fuzzy power chord-driven riffage and thunderous drumming paired with Clarke’s Ozzy Osbourne-like delivery, the song first nods at classic Black Sabbath and Soundgarden-like metal, complete with a soulful yet forceful solo. At the five minute mark, the song turns into sludgy doom metal dirge for a good two minutes before a gorgeous burst of strings carry the song into a gentle fadeout.
Lyrically rooted in longing and heartbreak, “Dream Snake” sees the members of Slumbering Sun drawing from different eras one metal and doom metal and crafting something both familiar and new.