Tombs – Under Sullen Skies [Full Length, 2020]


Brooklyn’s Tombs recently released their latest full length, ‘Under Sullen Skies’ via Season of Mist. While it’s definitely a Black Metal release at its core, there are other styles eclipsing the album, notably Death Metal, Sludge, Hardcore and Post-Metal making this album a quite diverse offering.

I find Under Sullen Skies offers a huge, crushing but simple sound in its execution despite the variety of styles reflected throughout its 12 tracks. Meaning there aren’t really relying on much gimmicks such as ambient build-up in the intro or some weird technical playing. This makes it easy to discern the styles appearing in each songs. 

You may call them basic, because rather than deconstructing each styles and slap everything together in a new form, it’s just as it is, with different styles appearing here and there. But make no mistake, as basic as you might think, Under Sullen Skies are crafted nicely. No songs are written half-heartedly or performed just for the sake of filler. No, sir, instead they really know their stuff. You can tell the styles apart and that’s what matters to me, at least. It has balls and energy to the writings. I personally the guitars are nicely done with proper tone and playing. Nothing over the top, so all is good.

There are songs that obviously Black Metal in structure, and then there are songs clearly a take on Sludge and Hardcore Punk, while some of it reeks of Doom Metal pace. But I feel Under Sullen Skies suffers what I call being fickle minded. With diversity of styles, I feel Tombs had problem cutting down the songs during production. 12 tracks with total playtime of 1 hour seems to much to take and eventually kills the dynamic and anticipation. Under Sullen Skies could still be a menacing album if they trim it down to 8 tracks, since some of the tracks seems to be  repetitive. I think they have some really good songs but ultimately overshadowed by long winded duration. Have a listen and feel free to change my mind.

Under Sullen Skies is now available in CD, vinyl, and digital download format.

FFO: Inter Arma, Neurosis, Isis

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