Path Of Totality

Written by: PP on 04/08/2011 06:04:58

Tombs' previous album "Winter Hours" presented a sludge metal band with some potential, but at the same time one that suffered heavily from sounding too muddy and too progressive for its own good. But on their new album "Path Of Totality", Tombs have made considerable improvement to their sound, the majority of which can be accredited to two major factors: production and songwriting.

Lets start with the former. Where its predecessor drowned any melody its guitars may have had underneath an unrecognizable mess of a sludge metal production, "Path Of Totality" takes a distinct turn towards post-metal by introducing a crisper and much clearer production, one which allows the guitars to lead the melody instead of function merely as a bone-crushing force. Their soundscape is still monster heavy, consistently bringing forth a brooding mood that builds and builds and builds until it crushes the listener underneath its sheer weight, but the production now allows their down-tuned, rotten guitars to explore several different elements throughout each song, taking turns at doomy progression, some intense grind-y moments, and of course hell of a lot of sludgy and creeping riffs, but they always drop down to a deep, heavy melody with a bit of melancholy attached to it. A description to that detail simply wouldn't have been possible given the production that frankly made all the songs sound identical. You can even make out the bass guitar loud and clear on most tracks, an achievement considering the genre they find themselves in.

Secondly, Tombs have evolved into great songwriters. Though the material on "Path Of Totality" still sounds same-y, it does so in a unifying, cohesive manner, with each track leaving a distinct mark on its listener while keeping the red thread in tact. The adjustment of style from strictly sludge metal to more melodic soundscapes found in post-metal helps of course, but Tombs have completed that transition gracefully, merely evolving from a bone-crushing sludge metal act into a bone-crushing post-metal-sludge act. It it this near-perfect amalgamation of two genres known for very different things that makes "Path Of Totality" such a fantastic album. It has the melody and a vibe of straightforwardness (a relative term in this style, of course) to lure in the fans not into extreme metal, but yet it retains the brutality and sheer force of expression from the genre it originated from. Alongside the brilliant release by Rabbits earlier this year, "Path Of Totality" is easily one of the best albums in its genre this year.


Download: Silent World, To Cross The Land
For the fans of: Rwake, Indian, Tephra, Rabbits
Listen: Bandcamp

Release date 07.06.2011

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