CD review TOMBS ‘Monarchy of Shadows’

Brooklyn-based Black Metal outfit Tombs is a band that can look back on a 13 years history that includes four full-length albums and several EP’s. Tombs these days is very much driven by Mike Hall, the only remaining founding member of Tombs and during the past two years line-up changes challenged the band stability, bringing three new players on board in 2018.

‘Monarchy of Shadows’ is the first release that features with Drew Murphy (b), Justin Spaeth (d) and Matt Medeiros (g) new band members on an EP that comes through a new label too. Tombs inked a deal with Season Of Mist and the news six-track record is the first delivery resulting from this collaboration.

Tombs delivers Black Metal, focussing on music rather than ‘Panda-style’. ‘Monarchy of Shadows’ is aggressive and furious. Just check out the opener and you know what you can expect. Raging speed is what reaches your ears but the album has more nuances than solely pushing the pedal to the metal. Already the title track shows some Gothic parts, inspirend by bands like Fields Of The Nephilim and reminding of bands like Moonspell. Such an approach gives Tombs music a wider approach and stands as well-done breaks of the usual pattern.

The highlight though is called ‘Necro Alchemy’. It’s another moment of blackened and fierce grimness. A racing tempo pushes the song with intensity, leading to a well-crafted chorus. In the second half of ‘Necto Alchemy’ the quartet reduces tempo dramatically. All of a sudden slo-mo riffs take over, giving the track a totally different expression while keep the level of heaviness high.

‘Monarchy of Shadows’ is the return of a band that went through some rougher times. Renewed and with full enthusiasm the quartet delivers a first prove of work, a promising one when it comes to the future. Black Metal continues to have a homebase in Brooklyn.

Rating: 8 out of 10.

Tracklist:

  1. Monarchy of Shadows 
  2. Once Falls the Guillotine
  3. Necro Alchemy 
  4. Man Behind the Sun 
  5. The Dark Rift 
  6. Path of Totality (Midnight Sun)

Label: Season Of Mist

Genre: Black Metal

Release Date EU: February 28th, 2020

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