TOMBS – All Empires Fall EP
Brooklyn’s Tombs are a strange creature. Although commonly described as ‘post-metal,’ I think it is fairer to say this is progressive black metal with elements of punk and sludge (amongst other things). The musical landscape they traverse is pretty diverse. At times, Tombs blast forth like a classic modern black metal act. At other times it becomes slower, darker and more atmospheric, with clean vocals, lingering keys and rumbling bass lines. In places the music is melodic and even catchy, while in other places it is dark and disturbing.
It would be relatively easy to give this a cursory listening and discount the tracks within as disjointed and lacking in direction, but it takes a bit more attention and effort on the part of the listener to recognise Tombs as a very accomplished act with some big ideas and a lot of ambition. I suppose the measure of this offering is how well all of the various influences and things the band are attempting are integrated. I feel that Tombs have never done a 100% satisfactory job of creating a seamless feel to all of their genre moulding and that ‘All Empires Fall’ is no exception. Yes, there are some incredible tracks and passages here. Some totally memorable music too – ‘Last days of Sunlight’ is a standout. However, there are other parts that while not weak, don’t dovetail quite so well into the finished product and fail to lift Tombs to the glorious heights they crave.
Overall then, a very strong offering and another step forward in the journey of Tombs, but still not the finished product that would satisfy the potential shown by the band to date…