Published Jun 10, 2014Blackened and sludge-laden, New York-based Tombs' 2011 sophomore effort Path of Totality seemed an aesthetic-defining record, the sort of well-wrought album that would define their future output. Their third full-length, Savage Gold, recontextualizes their previous work as a kind of musical laboratory, as their latest is even more intelligent, finely crafted and crushing. Savage Gold is absolutely confident in the way it has pulled together disparate elements into a cohesive whole, from the bubbling pitch black metal to the eerie post-punk, the reptilian weight of sludge and weirdly crystal, fractal take on the psychedelic.
The production, courtesy of Erik Rutan, is phenomenal, preserving the integrity of each white-hot blastbeat and aching chord while also preserving the ooze and bleed of the guitar tone at its thickest points. There's a hint of doom metal grandeur in the way the guitar and bass weave the riffs between them, frequently sharing the leads and passing them back and forth. It's the drumming, however, that is the star of the record, courtesy of Andrew Hernandez II. Both dizzyingly executed and profoundly emotional, it drives the record forward with the kind of deeply physical, organic pulse and drive that is more tactile than aural experience. Powerful and without hesitation or fear, Savage Gold plumbs the darkness and emerges finer for it. (Relapse)