Review: Tombs – “Path of Totality” (Relapse Records)

If you ever had any doubts that city dwellers have no place in the black metal community, you’re wrong and you haven’t heard TOMBSPath of Totality is the second full-length album from this Brooklyn based blackened sludge metal band. That’s right, I said Brooklyn, as in totally not from Europe. If you want to imagine how evil this album sounds, I’d say picture yourself in a nightmare with Dorian Gray and Alistair Crowley, both just casually having late night conversations about the end of humanity set to a scene from Dante’s Inferno. It’s a pretty sinister album. The thundering drumming on this record is authentic, taking off with the savage percussive assaults inspired by black metal titans DARKTHRONE. Wailing guitar tones and well-paced elements of despair were captured masterfully. Both the guitar and the ominous vocals were the responsibility of Mike Hill, who chants his mournfully oppressive lyrical themes all throughout the thoroughly morbid album; any expressions of nice things weren’t invited into the recording studio when John Congleton (Explosions In The Sky, Baroness) produced it. The entire album and architecture of the songwriting is elaborately composed. Everything is paced together to convey a sense of yearning and ascension through build ups followed by climatic suspense and inevitably the pulling percussions slam you right back down into seething dissonance. Like a cascading series of volcanic eruptions, you can merely anticipate where the next measure will take you, only knowing that it is going to be hot. Path of Totality has it all.

RATING: 8 / 10
By: Keith “Keefy” Chachkes
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