Artist: Tomb of Doom
Album: Bone Thieves
There are countless ways to define and depict violence—seriously—stop for a second and just say it to yourself. Violence. What comes to mind? Is it the heart-wrenching agony of envisioning millions dead? Is it the chest-thumping, hot-blooded fury of revenge? Maybe it’s a pain in a scar or a scab—a stamp left by violent acts committed in the past. After exposure to the breakout full-length by deathcore heavyweights Tomb of Doom, the mental image of violence will be nigh universal: Bone Thieves. Packed with slamming, earth-quaking breakdowns, visceral, jarring vocals and moments of relentless intensity which feel as though they can bring about the end of the world, Bone Thieves steals the life force from the likes of Tomb of Doom’s peers and crafts an unstoppable juggernaut of beatdown-infused deathcore heaviness.
In order to properly paint a picture of pure violence and misanthropy, Tomb of Doom provide a variety of modicums of bitterness for the listener to find themselves entrenched in. The first of these is one of unstoppable, chug-driven fury. Pummeling, pulsing drums and a catchy chant kickstart “Grit,” giving it just enough of a structure which the band can then demolish with a no-holds-barred onslaught the likes of which will catch the listener completely off guard. Tomb of Doom continue through Bone Thieves in just this manner—sliding sections of “where the Hell did that come from?!” heaviness in between moments of catchy, yet dissonant drive. In this manner, while it’s obvious the band is more than capable at crafting back-busting breakdowns and jaw-shattering slams, they know how to use them effectively. “Grit” employs this tactic plentifully—as once more, shortly before the end of the track, where the kick drums plod and plunk technically and atmospheric, haunting riffs peck at the listener’s sanity, the floor falls out beneath the listener and they around plummeting down a rabbit hole leading only to pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering. What’s the point of violence in the first place if it doesn’t cause at least one of those? Not to be outdone, Bone Thieves proves itself more than adequate at inflicting both by the bucketful. Lead single “Rags to Riches” alone is exemplary of this, providing moments of break-neck death metal technicality which use slam-death styled transitions to flow beautifully into groovy, atmospheric heaviness which slices the listener’s skin open and juices bushels of lemons into their laceration. Moments like those driving the juggernaut that is “Rags to Riches” and the epic journey “Living Profits” are obelisks to the perfection that is Tomb of Doom’s ability to craft engaging, scintillating tracks which don’t sacrifice intelligence for heaviness. Dynamic, furiously fretted riffs weave in and out with chug-heavy sections of bass-heavy fretwork atop a body already pummeled by percussion which refuses to slow down for anyone. The result? A quilt of beautifully woven deathcore so heavy it crushes the bones of any body it covers—resulting in a deliriously painful suffocation.
The degree to which violence drives—and is the result of—Tomb of Domb’s Bone Thieves is not simply evident in their musicianship, however. Once more, the listener turns to “Grit,” or “Rags to Riches” and examines their lyrics. Filled to the absolute bursting point with only the most hate-filled and controversial content, Bone Thieves is not just a perfectly painted backdrop of bitterness, but extends that bitterness to the story it tells using the words and screams it conveys them with. Nearly ever vocal range imaginable—from screeches to shouts to bellows—tell story after story of raw, immense anger—when they aren’t threatening the listener with death, that is. To put it simply, Tomb of Doom are pissed, and refuse to let anyone have any misconceptions as to the contrary.
Let the anger wash over you—bathe in violence, rest in putrescence. This is the experience Bone Thieves wills upon the listener. Not simply satisfied with directionless anger, Tomb of Doom craft a brilliant, immense and labyrinthine monument to anger. Beginning with a sturdy, well-cast foundation of chugged strength, ascending to the heavens with moments of breath-taking technicality and awe-inspiring syncope, Bone Thieves is poised to be a surprise contender to steal heavy release of the year.
For Fans Of: Martyr Defiled, Oceano, Osiah, WolveXhys, Fate Worse than Death
By: Connor Welsh