Showing posts with label Tombs. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tombs. Show all posts

Jul 22, 2011

Tombs – Path Of Totality ...

Path Of Totality is the band’s third full-length album. I remember being very enthusiastic about their former (second) full-length album Fear Is The Weapon, but upon my first time listening to Path Of Totality I was not too sure about this new album. It gets you all right, but initially I found that there was no extra ‘plus’ that makes this album stand out except of course for its lengthy, crafty song structures with a post-hardcore onslaught of metal. However, I quickly changed my mind after listening to Path Of Totality repeatedly. Tombs’ sound has been called sludge, post-metal, shoegaze and experimental and all of those tags are fitting. What I was missing basically were these little resting points in the riffing which make releases by (for example) acts like High On Fire, Jesu or your typical post-rock metal outfit diverse and entertaining. Path Of Totality delivers mountainous riff structures that at times remind me of Mastodon, but sometimes even lean towards black metal riffs.

Black Hole Of Summer opens with a haunting riff, black metal in its orientation but with the drums bending it to a whole different track (hardcore, sludge, you name it). Mike Hill, the mastermind behind Tombs, is very much at home in the crafts of metal, to be able to play with the different styles in a coherent, interesting way. To Cross The Land opens slowly and builds up to a brooding kind of track culminating in a weird choir-like chanting underpinning the bleak black metal riff and drums. To Cross The Land ends totally different than you would expect.


Constellations is more sludgy in its executions and gets pretty hardcore halfway. Bloodletters is another neurotic, meager soundscape that makes you crave for some light in the projected darkness of these tracks. The ending of this track is a typical overwhelming Mastodon kind of structure. Path Of Totality combines all of the above and below styles into one behemoth of a metal track, thick with atmosphere and style. Vermillion has this nice break with spoken words that makes things even more evil. A welcome change after the density of the previous tracks!

Passageways opens differently, with post-rock or dark wave kind of vocals slowly building up to a mid-tempo track resulting in plain noise. Silent World is a mid-tempo track too, with hypnotizing riffs and great drums. Cold Dark Eyes starts pretty black metal but halfway changes gear and develops into something different and interesting. You can hear the hardcore roots definitely on this track. The ending of Cold Dark Eyes is noisy or heavy shoe gaze again so you see that Tombs is very hard to pinpoint musically! Maybe I have to come back to what I wrote earlier: on my third and fourth time listening to this album, there are a lot of subtleties I didn’t notice the first time around. Black Heaven and Red Shadows display more of this shape shifting ability inherent to Tombs’ tracks. Angels Of Destruction ends the album with a haunting atmosphere. It’s not a typical track like the rest of the songs, but a depressed state of mind put into music. The end riff is majestic! I have to admit that this definitely keeps things interesting, so I’ll urge you to give this album a few spins before making your judgment.

Just under sixty minutes, Path Of Totality is definitely worth checking out. Tomb’s latest is out since the 7th of June on Relapse Records. Check out Vermillion Here

Review Written By Sandrijn van den Oever

Tombs @ Facebook

Jan 24, 2011

Tombs - Fear is the Weapon ...

I totally missed out on this record, because, well, there were so many good albums coming out at the end of 2010. Right now I’m cleaning out my mailbox, and look what I found: a gem by the name of Tombs J. Tombs is, for me, a band that I was always vaguely familiar with, but at the same time a band that I couldn’t even name one album of. Don’t misunderstand me, I love Tombs and this record – consisting of fourteen tracks – is a nice collection of their self-tiled EP, their half of the recent split album with Planks, and the previously unheard Winterhours demos, Winterhours being their first full-length. 
 So far, they released said EP (2008), the split with Planks (2008) and their full-length called Winterhours (2009). In Spring 2011 a new album will see the light, so for now we have to make do with Fear is the Weapon. I think it’s a diverse release, with a lot of interesting material, not just for existing fans of Tombs, but also for new listeners. The sound is probably the thing that will win you over: hardcore style vocals, neurotic riffs coupled to a cozy, fuzzy sound and a superb production. It’s one of those albums without any real anthems, so maybe you’ll forget them quite easily. Then again, listening to these tracks again will be almost like listening to them for the first time. If you know what I mean. Anyway, the Brooklyn trio tags their sound as hardcore/psychedelic/experimental. Hardcore and experimental: yes, but I’m not so sure about the psychedelic tag actually. 
 Their first EP is really, really strong as you can hear in the first seven tracks. The split with Planks is more, well, hardcore. I can easily picture a band like this starring alongside Converge. Compared to the split with Planks, their debut EP is more accessible, and has a slower pace. Cheval Noir, from their split with Planks, really stands out by the way because of the slow pace, the female vocals and the haunted high-pitched riff. The disc ends with the Winterhour demos. 
 What makes this disc so special, is you can really taste the potential of this band on your tongue. They probably will be releasing top-notch material the coming years, and this disc is an excellent introduction to the band if you were not familiar with Tombs. If you are familiar with Tombs, get the disc anyway because of the nice collection of previously separate releases. Plus, you get the Winterhours demos. The Winterhours demos are characterized by this wall of sound, with maybe a little less depth than their earlier releases. You can literally hear the band growing in their approach of the music, and I don’t know if this is a result of the production, or because they matured technically. For me, their first EP does the track, but that is just a matter of opinion of course. 
 Fear is the Weapon is out since the 2nd of November 2010, on Relapse Records. Oh, the release is limited to a single one-time pressing of 1000 copies, so be sure to get your copy! I checked, and it’s still available for $ 10. Check out their official clip for Gossamer (taken from their Winterhours) on Myspace Video
Review Written By Sandrijn van den Oever 

8 / 10

Tombs @ Myspace
Tombs @ Facebook
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