Release DetailsLABEL Level Plane
RELEASED ON 10/26/2007
posted on 1/2008 By:
Brooklyn, NY’s Tombs is a three-piece featuring Mike Hill (ex-Anodyne, ex-Versoma) on vocals and guitars, Justin Ennis (The Heuristics) on drums, while Dominic Seita (Speedloader) rounds out the band on bass. Hill formed the band shortly after the demise of Versoma and the trio found themselves jelling extremely quickly. After being together for a short amount of time the band went ahead and started recording what would become this debut EP in marathon sessions at the band’s home rehearsal space. The result is a reasonably promising seven tracks that span about twenty-six minutes.
Like so many recent bands, Tombs tries their hand at NeurIsis style sludgy, yet melodic dissonance. And like so many of those bands, these guys do a relatively good job at executing the style but ultimately fail to do much to take the sound to a new level. With their dense, bass-y tone, the trio resides firmly on the sludgy side of the spectrum with the majority of the material being slow moving and heavy accented by contemplative, emotional melodies with the occasional jaunt into more punk-ish pacing and presentation (“Calvaire” is a good example).
Tombs really has two main issues. First, the EP is a bit uneven with a few really good tracks and few really blah tracks. When you release something this short you have to take advantage of ever moment. Second, most of what really sticks out sounds like other bands. For example, the simple melody and droning, dull vocals of “Course of Empire” are very effective but they sound very similar to Jesu. Another example is the more hardecore-ish “Monuments” that sounds like blatant early Neurosis worship. My personal favorite track “Darker Than Your Thoughts” with its brooding build-up that utilizes a simple, haunting melody and gradually intensifying drums reminds me a bit too much of Mouth of the Architect.
On the whole, I really enjoy most of what Tombs offer up here on this EP, but it’s really hard to give a ringing endorsement for twenty-six minutes of hit and miss music that doesn’t do much to separate itself from its peers. While I feel the genre is getting close to a saturation point (like the metalcore boom, but with very little chance of any bands moving on to mainstream success), Tombs have a mature lineup, the ability to pen a decent tune, and a generally enjoyable sound; they really just need to become a little more consistent and develop their own niche within the style.
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