Tombs + “Path Of Totality”

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Posted 13 May 2011   Music Reviews
Tombs + "Path Of Totality", 5.0 out of 5 based on 1 rating

Few are those that understand the depth of meaning involving the ancient rite of `olah – known to many as a simply a “burnt offering”.  It is a type of Biblical sacrifice, specifically an animal sacrifice in which the entire sacrifice is completely burnt, consumed totally by fire.  This form of sacrifice – in which no meat was left over for anyone – was seen as the greatest form of sacrifice and total devotion.

Burnt offering.  Holocost.  Call it what you will, but “Path Of Totality” bears the mark of absolute devastation.  Extremely heavy?  YES.  However, for those who may be new to the band, one of the most striking things about this album is how incredibly listenable it is.  Tombs has marched boldly with the sound of impending doom since their inception and “Path” is endowed with all of the primordial intensity that fans have come to expect.

From the moment that the veil is lifted, “Path Of Totality” seems to breathe and course with life, invoking the classic sound and feel of Black Metal in it’s finest hour.  However, Tombs reaches far beyond the rituals of the past:  This is far more than a hallowed reverence for the ghosts of inspiration and re-living the glory found by others.

Through the first several tracks, the sound that is revealed is vast and diverse:  Gut-wrenching vocals and furious blastbeasts are interwoven with a dark and brooding atmospheric moodiness.  As the journey progresses, there is an unwavering consistency and commitment to the sound that has led Tombs to this moment of greatness:  While artistic variation abounds, “Path Of Totality” never looses it’s way or becomes needlessly sophisticated.

Producer John Congleton (Baroness, Explosions in the Sky) deserves credit for delivering a great mix with loads of character.  The guitars sounds are dynamic with plenty of tonal variation.  Even where they’re at their most brutal, they do not always lean on crushing amounts of distortion.  The end result is that they don’t strain the listener’s ears or become fatiguing to listen to.  The drums are also well recorded and have a raw, unprocessed, almost vintage sound.

While it is extremely strong on the whole, a few personal favourites are:  To Cross The Land, Bloodletters, Vermillion, Silent World,  Black Heaven and Angel of Destruction  (weird…  that’s all the even numbered tracks!)

Tombs + “Path of Totality”

Rating 4.5 / 5

Out June 7th 2011 on Relapse Records

Pre-order HERE!!