TOMBS: Savage Cold: CD

So good and heavy. Massive guitar sound backed up by pummeling percussion. Think of bands like Tragedy and From Ashes Rise with some black metal influences mixed in. It’s tuneful and crushing, and, at times, bordering on hypnotic when they let the black metal side come to the fore. There’s the buzzing bee guitar riffing that’s topped off with the cold lead guitar notes drilling into your brain, not to mention that constant hammering from the drums. The songs are paced well, never staying too much in one mode. This is an actual album and not a collection of random songs. Songs flow together, build off where the other ended, and they each have their own distinct elements to stand out from the other, whether it’s how the drums come into the song (and this drummer, Andrew Hernandez, is f’n good!), or the guitars creating a din of sound, or everything piling in together. The switch up towards the end of “Portraits” is great. Simple, but effective as hell and comes out of nowhere. Then there’s the transition from “Seance” to “Echoes.” Two very different songs, different textures, and if you heard them separately you wouldn’t think they would change as smooth as they do. The album does run aground a couple times with the songs “Deathtripper” and “Severed Lives.” It doesn’t sound like either song was fully cooked. They veer off from what has come before in the other songs, which can be great sometimes, but in these instances it just doesn’t work. “Severed Lives” could improve greatly by chopping out the last couple minutes and the semi-whispered vocals. Other than that, the rest of the material on here is pretty damn solid, and that drummer… Whoa! 

 –M.Avrg (Relapse)