Tombs - Savage Gold review

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Band: Tombs
Album: Savage Gold
Release date: June 2014

01. Thanatos
02. Portraits
03. Seance
04. Echoes
05. Deathtripper
06. Edge Of Darkness
07. Ashes
08. Legacy
09. Severed Lives
10. Spiral

Brooklyn, New York's Tombs is another "post" labeled metal band that showcase plenty of other details in their music easily making it some of the more ambitious and impressive post metal I've heard this year.

Savage Gold is the next step for Mike Hill, Tombs original and only remaining founding member. Looking to strive forward and mature, the song writing on Savage Gold is more diversified than derivative and takes a bunch of musical influences and fuses them into one sharp, but meticulous record. If you are looking for some post metal with some twists in it, then you are in the right place. By "twists" I mean be ready for a wide range of metal music customization that highlight and defend Savage Gold from start to finish.

Sorrowful black metal is at the heart of the sound but the combination of multiple metal styles that include noise, hardcore, doom, and sludge metal, has a really positive effect on the overall ebb and flow of the record. Post-punk expands upon the moody foundation and when added to traditional metal moments the sound really encapsulates this seamless metal potpourri into one tight, distinctive package. Melodies and riffage are represented but only in a station-to-station type of scenario. They don't take over the compositions, so the songs may feel a bit sporadic. Only multiple listens will unveil structures drenched in gloom, discord and violence that are equally interspersed with delicate, radiant themes.

Dynamics and modification play an important role in Tombs's sound properties and the song "Deathtripper" is exhibit A for those seeking out this kind of variation. An ominous, thick bass line, slow drum pattern and crust punk-like guitar textures are accompanied by a deep, muffled spoken voice; very methodical and trance-like. Then inexplicably the sound explodes into arousing, painful double bass pedals and heavy layered blackened sludge metal guitar riffs polished off by relentless sludge-style screaming. This is my favorite song on the album because it illustrates heaviness shaded in nuance, subtlety and somber atmosphere.

Much like their previous, and critically acclaimed opus, Path Of Totality, Savage Gold benefits from exquisite production. This time Hate Eternal's Erik Rutan was behind the switches. Rutan, who has previously produced for Cannibal Corpse and Goatwhore masterfully blends hardcore energy with bleak backdrops with guitar styles of black metal, noise and sludge.

This latest Tombs incarnation is probably their most direct expression of extreme metal as well as having the most frail symmetry between songs that are considered to be "more metal" or "less metal". I can't wait to see what Mike Hill and Tombs come up with next. In the meantime, I will thoroughly enjoy this.

Rating breakdown
Performance: 8
Songwriting: 9
Originality: 9
Production: 10


Written on 23.06.2014 by Be gentle, I never said I was any good at this!


Comments: 6   Visited by: 200 users
23.06.2014 - 19:04
Very nice review, it was a pleasure to read.
I'm actually planning to hear this tonight. Loved their previous one and think that will also love this.
Giving my ears a rest from music.
23.06.2014 - 19:17
Btw, why the band picture is shown for this review on the front page, instead of album cover?
Giving my ears a rest from music.
23.06.2014 - 19:30
Account deleted
Only other record I heard was Fear As The Weapon, and I don't remember enjoying that. Wonder if I should give this a shot.
23.06.2014 - 20:49
Teamster the post expert strikes again. i have yet to hear an album that you recommended and i didn't like.
23.06.2014 - 21:17
R Lewis
That Useless Guy
Written by mz on 23.06.2014 at 19:17

Btw, why the band picture is shown for this review on the front page, instead of album cover?

That's what happens when a Staff review gets posted without uploading a picture big enough to fit the front page. This doesn't happen with Guest reviews, that only use the already uploaded album pictures.
We could be so much more than we are. Stop.
24.06.2014 - 14:46
Ag Fox
Angel No More
Tombs have always been pretty good, but I've never felt like "I'm so excited about the prospect of listening to a Tombs album!". This review has definitely piqued my interest, so well done
loves 小巫

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