Thursday, November 4, 2010
Album Review - Tombstones: Volume II
Let me just get this out of the way right now…this, my friends, is a DOOM album. Hailing from Oslo, Norway, a town known more for churning out orchestral black metal and corpse paint rather than stoner rock, Tombstones (great name by the way) are one of the bands currently changing the common perspective on Scandinavian metal. And on their latest release, Volume II, this band has crafted nine juggernaut tracks of lumbering sludge that is rife with riffs of Sabbathian proportions.
On the album opener, “Hellfire”, Tombstones introduces you to their formula and from there, they never let up. As I’ve already noted, this is a doom album through and through, so if you’re a fan of that sort of thing (and I’m guessing if you’re reading Heavy Planet that you are), you won’t be disappointed by Volume II. Combining wickedly, evil blues guitar licks and vocals that linger just under the surface of the music with those heavy ass riffs; this band just defines what it is to be slow and heavy. In fact there were times on my first listen when the music slowed to such a crawl that I feared it may come to a halt altogether (see “Whisperer in Darkness” and “Realms of Oblivion”).
If there’s one knock on these guys however, it’s that their recipe of trudging riffs and drowned out vocals tends to wear a bit thin around the midway point of the album. But I say it’s better to do one thing really well than to do a whole lot of things half assed, and Tombstones certainly know how to execute their craft like seasoned vets. And once you’ve made your way through the entirety of Volume II, you’re rewarded with a nearly nine and a half minute, epic instrumental entitled “Supernoid” (could that be a play on Sabbath’s “Supernaut”…hmm), which sounds like the metal version of a funeral dirge. Could there be a more appropriate album closer for a band that calls themselves Tombstones? I think not. Now put on a frown and go check these guys out for yourself.
02. Distorted Visions
03. Whisperer in Darkness
04. Further Down the Abyss
05. Realms of Oblivion
06. Eye of the Universe
07. The Source
08. Wheels Turn
Bjørn-Viggo Godtland - Vocals/Guitar
Ole Christian Helstad - Bass/Vocals
Jørn Inge Woldmo - Drums