Tomorr formed in 2017 and their exotic sounding name derives from a mountain that rises above Berat (a UNESCO World Heritage site known colloquially as the City of 1001 windows) in Albania. Tomorr, alongside St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, is one of the most frequented sacred places in the country.
The band Tomorr are a trio based in Empoli, Italy by way of Albania and comprised of J Meister on guitars/vocals, Mostro on bass and Chero on drums. The band tap further into their heritage by featuring a photo of elderly men, dressed in traditional clothing, on the album cover and there’s a photo of the band in similar garb on the accompanying press kit photos, on top of this, the lyrics are also in Albanian.
Kaba (Bulky) starts with the tinkering of bells, the kind you would associate with livestock, implying a pastoral theme from the off, the band’s moniker of ‘Albanian Rural Doom’ makes sense as a result. This picturesque intro is quickly dispersed by the kind of riff that would level cities, and subsequent traditional sounds and chants are tastefully interwoven. This is an instrumental number that not only makes for a bombastic and dramatic opener, but also serves as a great way for the band to introduce themselves, as it were.
Vargmal (Ridge) continues the punishment and takes about four minutes before we’re finally introduced to J Meister’s impassioned vocals. The track imbues a comforting familiarity with the kind of hypnotic ultra heavy doom/stoner metal reminiscent of Sleep’s Dopesmoker, the vocals certainly bear a similarity to Al Cisneros.
For a young band, who’ve only been in existence for roughly three years, this makes for a promising debut…
Varr (Grave) features a slow but steady build-up with some nice psychedelic flourishes. The rhythm section is particularly awe inspiring, and Chero’s drumming in particular positively swings, the style akin to Bill Ward at his peak. The latter part of the track reminds me of some of Southern Lord’s earlier catalogue, with bands such as Burning Witch and Thorr’s Hammer, and although the vocals take on a rougher hue, they’re nowhere near as extreme as either of those two bands. The atmosphere created during the latter part of the track takes on an almost black metal inspired bleakness, rendering the title (Grave) appropriate.
Grazing Land features some nice tribal rhythms and has a progressive post-metal approach, at times it resembled a slightly sped up latter day Neurosis. Terra, one of the shorter tracks on the album, brings to mind a bit of vintage noise-rock with some of the sledgehammer riffing reminding me of Helmet. There is more of a straightforward aggressiveness on display which, in comparison to the prog inclinations of preceding track Grazing Land, offers up a necessary change of tempo.
The 1001 Windows Village is by far the longest track at over sixteen minutes and starts slowly with genteel, almost folk style jamming, before some lovely Kyuss, free form, stoner desert rock ala Welcome to Sky Valley era, takes you through to the finish line with epic aplomb.
This is definitely one of those albums you have to listen to a few times in order to really appreciate all of its nuances. In comparison to say Sepultura’s Roots, which I always felt sounded ham-fisted, Tomorr demonstrate that you can have a sense of pride in your origins, without having to dumb down the quality of the music. For a young band, who’ve only been in existence for roughly three years, this makes for a promising debut and on the back of which, I will be following their future career with keen interest.
Scribed by: Reza Mills