Spreading the spirit of Sabbath is now a global thing with countries as far as Norway producing hypnotic vibes that could make Tony Iommi and co. come out in a rash. After the surprise success of kind of super-group Sahg, it’s Tombstones turn to prove that Scandinavia can compete for the heaviest riffs around.
Their latest and greatest release ‘Year Of The Burial’ is a consistent offering that brings to mind riff legends such as Sleep and Electric Wizard. Both bands are heavily worshipped by Tombstones and this gives you a clear example of how typical and to the structure their sound is, with a style that doesn’t venture too far out of the doom spectrum.
This lack of boundary pushing is the most immediate problem with Tombstones, who will find it a hard job challenging being more than a typical doom band. However, this is not necessarily a terrible thing, with a growing amount of groove supporters looking for more of the same and not too much experimentation.
Another advantage to Tombstones is their arsenal of riffs, which are present from opener ‘Unveiling.’ This song also has one mean bass tone, containing more fuzz than Neil Fallon’s beard and a healthy dose of groove which will appeal to those who spend their nights lighting up and watching old b-movies.
This penchant for writing effective jams is also complemented by how easy to digest Tombstones material is. ‘Year Of The Burial’ progresses with pleasant ease and has a decent enough level of staying power for return spins.
The LP’s staying power largely comes from the tasteful level of variation the band display. From the gritty and uncompromising riffs of ‘Quinessential’ to the eerie and experimental vocals of the title track, Tombstones have created something which after a few listens reveals itself to be at least a noteworthy piece of work.
These Norwegians are clearly an enthusiastic bunch and it is much more accurate to label their output as passionate rather than lifeless. Whether thinking their heart’s in the right place is a good way to judge a band is a grey area, but numbers such as ‘Egypt’ are an entertaining stab at the sub-genre if nothing else.
Tombstones have created an opus which definitely has more strengths than weaknesses. Their musicianship cannot be denied and their dedication to the riff is admirable but to enter the big league a more individual sound is a necessity.
Scribed by: Alex Varley