May 7, 2012

T.O.M.B. – Uncovered Ancient Gateways ...

Bands like Gnaw Their Tongues have a lot to answer for. It seems a whole new sub genre has emerged in recent years and it is gaining in popularity despite being the musical equivalent of rubbing your face with a cheese grater. I am talking black noise, industrial filth rock, experimental torture metal: there is any number of ways of summing up the chaotic oppressive harshness of this kind of musical impassivity and indifference. This style gives a big f@#k you to traditional recording methods and sounds and it is the kind of noise that should be played as background music in mental institutions. The latest purveyors of filth is a one-man band by the name of T.O.M.B which stands for Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy. This album titled 'Uncovered Ancient Gateways' or UAG as it says on the album art isn't the sickest band in existence but it is still extremely deranged.

This album was actually recorded and released back in 2009 in very limited numbers but has been reborn with the help of the Crucial Blast record label that has given this a much-deserved proper release. Trying to describe an album like this is like trying to describe a totally sadistic, brutal murder scene. It is horrible, sickening, emotionally crippling and leaves you with nightmares. At the root of all of this noise is black metal, doom and industrial drones while the atmosphere is one of sheer malevolence. Most of the album is centered around distorted noises, power electronics, and harsh metallic ambience and while these tracks can still be classed as songs, they are often pushing the boundaries between what we think of as music and what is sheer noise.

At times the distorted electrical rusty sounds get a bit much to take as in 'Blood Vortex' while the 8 minutes plus 'Mausoleum Witchcraft' has drones that are almost too ugly for the average human ear to handle. What ended up surprising though is the track that seems to be the most memorable to me is the longest track. This slow, oppressive epic tale of torment known here as 'Empleh' is over 12 minutes of hellish, droning noises but it is oddly mesmerizing - like watching and also hearing a train crash in slow-motion. Even though there are 11 tracks and 62 minutes of material here, it is hard to separate one track from the next. They often bleed into each other and even though they all have unique song-titles, none of them seem to carry any sort of concept except being as irritating and as ugly as possible (and I mean that in the nicest possible way).

I said this before about this kind of music but I don't know who or what kind of person is attracted to this form of disturbing racket and it is hard to know who to recommend this album to but this is oddly captivating for the most part. On the surface, it may seem like slapped together blackened noise for the demented but there are methods to this madness. You will have to play this with a open-mind and be very patient with how most of these pieces evolve but once you get used to it, this is addictive stuff. The band will be new to most of the readers out there but there has been 10 releases from the band if you include demos and one split with Black Albatross. This is not the latest release either, the band only recently released a EP 'Xesse' and have a newish compilation out titled 'Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy II.' Give this band a listen, it may be like poking your ear canals with a hot skewer at first but you should enjoy the pain of it all eventually...8/10.

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