"The Path of Totality"

By Dr. Abner Mality

TOMBS tries to navigate the path between steamroller heaviness and weepy, washed out melody on "The Path of Totality" and they do a pretty fair job of it. There are some who call this style of music "metalgaze" but that term offends my diehard soul. No, I'm not calling it "heavyshoe", either!

This record is one of many that starts off dynamically with the best material and then doesn't match the early flurry later on. It would be hard to think of a better opener than "Black Hole of Summer"...pummeling, HEAVY waves of guitar crush exploding like a more elegant Celtic Frost. This is Tombs at their best and most massive. With "To Cross The Land", a more experimental tone arises while the heavy riffing remains. Quite an excellent tune. But from that point on, the album becomes hit or miss, with the ambling title track and unfocused "Angel of Destruction" residing more firmly in the miss category. Songs often start with power and aggression, but gradually deconstruct themselves into more brooding shoegazy forms. "Black Heaven" is one track where both elements coalesce and intertwine's a melancholy yet brutal song.

I feel Tombs is still evolving and reaching out for that perfect midpoint between Celtic Frost and My Bloody Valentine. On "Path of Totality", they are working some of the kinks out and I'm hoping the next record distills their sound into the spectacular vision I know they can attain.