Winter Hours

Written by: PP on 23/02/2009 12:47:13

The appeal of noise/sludge rock is something I've never really understood. Stuffing together a million different styles and sounds and playing it as loudly as possible just sounds like an awful mess to me every time, and "Winter Hours" by Tombs is no exception, only this time even the production lives up to the name of the sludge genre perfectly.

There are the odd Isis and Neurosis references here and there, and the vocalist sounds like how I'd imagine a perfect crossing between Brent Hinds (Mastodon) and Matt Pike (High On Fire) to be like: muscular, masculine, and angry as hell. But he isn't the driving force of Tombs more than the sludgy guitars, which explore post-metallic soundscapes as much as they thrive on an intense muddy chaos, otherwise known as sludge metal. But in the midst of the intimidating, harsh sound that Tombs deliver, it's difficult to find many focal points to concentrate on; the sound simply swooshes from one edge to the other, consequently erasing any memorable moments the album may otherwise offer.

There are exceptions, of course. "Beneath The Toxic Jungle" has some interesting chord progressions that catchy my attention every time I pass by the track, and the Isis-inspired blackened guitar-intro of "Filled With Secrets" gives me back chills as well. Especially on the latter the contrast between the crushing heaviness and the echoing emptiness is done brilliantly, and it's a bit of a shame the band didn't choose to explore this territory a little more. Most other songs, you see, are just a bit too chaotic and sludgy to make an effect on the listener (especially tracks 4-7 inclusive).

Although there are a few moments on "Winter Hours" where Tombs showcase true potential, as a whole the record fails to impress me much. By the tenth and final track, it's difficult to remember more than just a couple of good moments on the disc, as it all sounds same-y to a great degree throughout. Still, this type of stuff has it's audiences, and if any of the bands in the for the fans of field below interest you, you should probably check these guys out as well.

Download: Beneath The Toxic Jungle, Filled With Secrets
For the fans of: Neurosis, Withered, Mastodon, Isis
Listen: Myspace

Release date 23.02.2009

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