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 acclaimed 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 Friday digital, cassette and CD release, 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.
In the lead-up to the album’s release later this week, I’ve written about two singles:
- “Liminal Bridges,” an expansive song 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 enormous, arena rock-like hooks. The track sonically brought — to my ears, at least — The Sword to mind — ok but with a prog rock-leaning sensibility.
- “Dream Snake,” an equally expansive track that opens with Black Sabbath and Soundgarden-like intro with fuzzy, power chord-driven riffage, thunderous drumming and a soulful solo paired with Clarke’s Ozzy Osbourne-like delivery until roughly around the five-minute mark. At that point, the song morphs into a sludgy doom metal dirge for the next two minutes or so before a gorgeous string arrangement carries 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.
The Ever-Living Fire‘s third and latest single, album title track “The Ever Living Fire” continues a remarkable run of expansive, mind-bending material. Beginning with 35 second gorgeous, acoustic guitar-driven introduction, the song quickly explodes into an expressive and soulful, doom metal dirge rooted into sludgy riffage, thunderous drumming paired with Clarke’s crooning. Around the five minute mark, the band introduces a melodic hook that shifts the song into an explosive display of layered guitar work. The song ends with a roughly minute-long gorgeous, acoustic guitar-driven coda. It’s arguably the most prog-leaning of the album’s released singles.