Scraping Genius Off The Wheel

I MISUNDERESTIMATED TOMBS

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The first time I heard Tombs‘ Relapse Records debut Winterhours was on the New York subway with iPod earbuds, which are clearly not the ideal conditions for developing an accurate initial impression of a band. I wasn’t impressed and turned it off after a few songs, likely in favor of something more familiar such as The Jonas Brothers. Recently though, I’ve given the record some undivided attention at home, where the sound is hardly state-of-the-art but at least it isn’t subject to train noises and obnoxious interruptions by my fellow passengers. Much to my surprise and delight, I fucking love Winterhours.

At various times over the course of the album’s ten tracks, I hear the presence of apparent influences like Godflesh, Neurosis, and Swans, though apparently they’re categorized as “blackened metal” by their label for some reason, which I suppose makes sense on “Filled With Secrets.” When I listen to “Gossamer” (video above!) or “Merrimack”, I’m far more inclined to to see them as the logical extension of the metalgaze sound that Jesu introduced on its first few releases and subsequently abandoned.

The band has some tour dates coming up over the next month-and-a-half, including a slot at the Planet Caravan festival and some surrounding Southern U.S. gigs with Kylesa and Bison BC. Black metal fanatics should take note that Tombs is playing one of the few Marduk U.S. tour dates–the one at New York’s Gramercy Theater on August 15, specifically–which hopefully will make up for the Blackenedfest debacle. Tombs wont be playing the August 12 gig at Sonar in Baltimore nor the August 13 gig at Johnny Brenda’s in Philly, but both Withered and recent Relapse signees Black Anvil will.

-GS

[Gary Suarez is the mindkiller. He usually manages the consistently off-topic No Yoko No. Say, why don’t you follow him on Twitter?]

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