REVIEW: TOMBS – “All Empires Fall” [EP]
Hailing from New York, Tombs play black metal with influences from post-metal, sludge and atmospheric elements. The band released some of their best material in 2014 with the album ‘Savage Gold’, and they return with new music in the form of the EP ‘All Empires Fall’. This time the lineup is seen with a considerable amount of changes, with everyone except the founding member Mike Hill joining in after ‘Savage Gold’. Consequently, there is observable differences in the style of music being played in the EP as well. There is more emphasis on chugging riffs than on the darker post-black metal aspects that ‘Savage Gold’ had. While there still are post-metal influences in the music, the usage of atmosphere is in a different manner than before.
The album starts off with the opener “The World is Made of Fire”, a synth beginning to what turns out to be pretty enjoyable sludgy riffing. “Obsidian” immediately takes charge over the pace, ripping into thunderous black metal and leaving you catching for breath. The end of this track marks the end of straight-forward black metal in this EP, as the band slowly ventures into a riff-oriented and experimental passage. “Last Days of Sunlight” sees Tombs dipping their foot into post-punk and industrial influenced post-metal, with minimal guitars and heavy reliance on atmosphere. “Deceiver” is another one of the tracks that is driven by the power riffs being supported by bass and synth, while the ravage vocals decorate the dark musical landscape, and the whispering female vocals adds an interesting angle to the track. “V” is the final, and the longest, track on the EP. After a minute of ambient build up, the mid-tempo blackened riffing enters into the fray as screams punctuate eerie clean vocals. A good mixture of black, doom, sludge and post-metal is heard in this track, and is a pretty good representation of the band as a whole.
While ‘All Empires Fall’ is an EP, Tombs try to tailor variety of influences into the short period of time, and I am glad they did. I would definitely had liked to see more development in a particular idea, but it is quite possible that the monotony, not as a character of the record but as that of the genre and style in general, would have caught up to me, but the quick changes made it interesting without question. Fade Kainer, is a great add to the line-up, giving Tombs a dimension to stretch their arms at for experimentation, and a hint of that can be seen in this EP.
‘All Empires Fall’ is a trailer to what direction the new lineup will be taking Tombs to, and with the little there is to hear, it seems like it will take us away from the post-black monotony and into something qualitatively substantial.