For 13 years now, TOMBS have been at the forefront of the Post – Black Metal scene and powered by Mike Hill, here is no surprise that the band has been successfully pushing boundaries for so long but also the fact that Hill has such a reputation, means that there are plenty of artists lining up to work with him. On this album alone there are seven, whether it be guest vocals or spoken dialogue to guitar solos, the fact that there are space and demand for such shows incredible respect for TOMBS through the music sphere.
The album erupts into life with ‘Bone Furnace’ and sets the stall out with a Black vibe, however, there is an undeniable groove that is running through the rhythm section as the gritty vocals are scratching their way down your ear canal. If this is your introduction to TOMBS then you will now be preparing yourself for what else is to come as the rumbling drums have that very Black Metal feel, in fact, the bass does too along with the vocal, but there is so much more to this sound.
By the time we get halfway, you have experience the chugging riffs and the sound of the synth and realize that this unusual combination, in fact, an elaboration of a theme, provides a lovely variety to a sound that many of us are used to and relate to its bleakness, however, this is anything other than bleak.
The 12 tracks rattle through, making easy work for the hour-long offering, as the foundation of Black Metal allows for so much more to be built upon it and flourish into grooving riffs and electro synths that would traditionally not be associated with such bleakness, however here it adds a little glimmer of hope to an otherwise glum outlook.
Under Sullen Skies is a fantastic progression beyond Black Metal into its own being and creates an alternative option to that of the all-out genre and also goes beyond genres into a flourishing alternate, however, there is no need to decide between traditional Black Metal and this other option. Press play, sit back, and enjoy something that is a bit different but extremely good.
Under Sullen Skies is released Friday 20th November 2020 on Season of Mist.