Tombs – The Grand Annihilation (Metal Blade Records, 16 June 2017)
Hey! Remember almost a year ago when we let you know that Brooklynite post-black metal ensemble Tombs would be releasing a new record — the fourth full-length in their decade-plus of existence, which would be the first thing coming out via the band’s new relationship with Metal Blade? And furthermore, that it would be the first LP featuring [the bulk of] the new line-up that had debuted a year earlier on the All Empires Fall EP?
Well anyway, that happened, and with Tombs hitting the road tonight for a handful of shows across the northeast over the course of the next week, it seemed like an appropriate time to finally get around to sharing that new album with all you swell people. Those dates are listed down at the bottom of the page.
Although the band has adapted its sound and twisted its style almost as often as it has reformulated its roster over the years, The Grand Annihilation has turned out to be quite possibly their most varied outing yet. Naturally they still have not strayed far from their roots; the album is filled with elements of both black metal and post-metal, and the familiar epic-sounding guitar parts are on display almost immediately in opening track “Black Sun Horizon.”
But almost halfway through the album some unexpectedly clean vocals start sneaking in alongside the gutteral growls — and then over much of the second half an almost gothic or darkwave style of vocals takes precedence in several of the songs. In particular, “Walk with Me in Nightmares” is a bit reminiscent of Nick Cave while “Saturnalian” has kind of a Peter Murphy vibe happening.
That isn’t to say that this isn’t first and foremost a black metal, or (more often) a blackened death metal record. The clean singing and other post-metal aspects blend in seamlessly with the general sense of sturm-und-drang — the vicious sound of blackness found in songs like “Cold.”
In fact, much of the record (check out “November Wolves,” for instance) ends up sounding like some kind of unfeeling and inhumane war machine on the march, decimating anything in its path. Which actually makes perfect sense, because the “grand annihilation” of the title is a reference to the Hindu belief of a repeating cycle of destruction and rebirth of the universe — the implication being that we may be reaching a point where the best possible outcome just might be wiping everything away and starting again from a blank slate.
Stream or download The Grand Annihilation or find it on CD or vinyl right here.
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Tombs May-June 2018 Tour Dates
Friday 25 May – Court Tavern – New Brunswick NJ
Wednesday 30 May – L’Anti Bar – Quebec City QC (w/ Barishi)
Thursday 31 May – The Stone Church – Brattleboro VT (w/ Barishi)
Friday 01 June – Geno’s – Portland ME (w/ Barishi)