Path Of Totality
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Path Of Totality
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As a 35 year-old unemployed alcoholic misanthrope on the brink of divorce, this record has proven to be quite the companion for those long nights when the air I breathe feels like needles in my lungs, the dark existing to suffocate only me, light promising to leave for good, hope nothing but a fiction.
I hear Neurosis, I hear Unsane, I hear Joy Division, I hear Unearthly Trance, I hear truth, I hear existence as sound.
This is music for those of us who know where we truly are.
PATH OF TOTALITY is not black metal, but it is clearly blackened in places, including the appropriately named "Black Heaven." I am also struck by similarities to High on Fire, another guitar/bass/drums trio known for its dense, powerful riffs, but Hill's lyrical focus is much more aligned with Scott Kelly and Steve von Till of Neurosis in its serious, apocalyptic imagery than with Matt Pike's sword-and-sorcery.
Tombs are not totally derivative, and in any event I can't imagine a better influence than Neurosis! In addition to black metal, Hill incorporates other styles into his unique synthesis. The album combines heavy riffs with more diverse guitar figures and melodic passages.
Decibel Magazine and Brandon Stusoy of Pitchfork's Show No Mercy have championed Tombs. From reading Decibel I gather that the band has its detractors, but I haven't run across them anywhere online.
The insert includes the complete lyrics as well as excellent graphics, which also adorn the CD cover and the disc itself, by Thomas Hooper.
To call this a pure metal album is a slight disservice as to some that immediately brings to mind many defining characteristics of whichever genre you choose, making it easier to write off bands like Tombs who don't easily fall into one category. Reviewers have pointed out Swans and even Joy Division influences and that's not altogether untrue. Not in the arrangements mind you, this is still dissonant heavy music written with guitars, but the harrowing isolation created by the sound of darker post punk. Tombs write in a way that can be draining to the listener if listened intently. Chords that are crushingly heavy while never sounding like your typical Sabbath-worshipping crowd. Often there'll be arpeggiated guitar lines that carry both dread and melody in equal share. The vocals are monotonous in the best kind of way, articulating the bleak worldview this band is talented enough to display with their musicianship alone.
The production on this is phenomenal. A massive drum sound that gives even more clarity to their vision. Guitars have just the right amount of mid-range and never overwhelm anything else. One of 2011's most replayable and shows even more promise of what's yet to come from these guys.
Bloodletters, Silent World, Passageways, Cold Dark Eyes.
There are no weak songs.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is the third album from NYC trio, Tombs. Backed by black metal cackling and lo-fi production, these guys are unblack metal at its finest, an American act who sounds like... Read morePublished on February 10, 2012 by cradleofryan
It is lacking; An output like this could and should be supplemented with synthesizers and organs to give it a more expanded and fuller sounded and greater ambiance. Read morePublished on February 9, 2012 by JOHN L. KOWAL
Im impressed by this band and release, couldnt have imagine how great this cd actually is when the first reviews started to being writen on the metal zines. Read morePublished on January 12, 2012 by J. Silva