Reviews Tombs Winter Hours

Tombs

Winter Hours

Following their promising self-titled debut and their split with the European band Planks, Tombs drops Winter Hours (their debut for new label Relapse Records) onto an increasingly anticipatory public. Mike Hill (guitarist and vocalist) assembles a new lineup for this album, possibly out of necessity due to attrition or maybe just to possibly add different sounds to the band's palette. In either case, the changes work out for the better because Winter Hours is a triumph for Tombs.

Winter Hours contains powerful moments a plenty (check the opener on the record, "Gossamer", for a good representation) which are subsequently bulwarked with Hill's plaintive, bellowing wail - sounding better than ever actually. The drums on the album sound like they are pounding from some monstrous cavern providing an immense amount of space for the other sounds on the album to occupy; there is not a moment where the instrumentation does not sound big to the point of the album sounding like an avalanche coming out of the speakers. The guitars occupy a great deal of the space, whether they are the focus or not. There are times where there is a great deal of ambient sound and background noise generated by the guitars besides the riffs or melodic lines and then there are times, like in "Golden Eyes" where it sounds like there are hundreds of guitars playing. The bass provides the necessary bottom end to anchor the album down just right.

Winter Hours contains several other memorable moments like "Beneath the Toxic Jungle." The guitars actually drop out of the mix and the bass guitar just rumbles on with the drums; and when the guitars come back as a dual signal note melody, the effect is quite good. The echo laden introduction to "Filled With Secrets" boasts a great tension building part which makes the song. The instrumentals, "Story of a Room" and "Old Dominion," add atmosphere and give a breath to the album that come at just the right times on the record. "Merrimack" is still one of my favorite songs from the band - ever since they first posted it as evidence of new material - as it exemplifies this massive sound, the plaintive vocals, and tension building arrangement present on Winter Hours.

Listening to Winter Hours is an obsession that can be difficult to break; trust me. Tombs give us an album that is thick and uncompromising while still managing to be dynamically diverse; this juxtaposition not only causes the album to not wear on the ears in a way that many heavy records can be such an assault on the senses but also offers enough sweet to the sour. A loud volley across the bough of music this year, and still early in the year at that, Tombs' Winter Hours will surely find its way onto many year end lists.

8.5 / 10Bob
Advertisement
KFAI - Roar of the Underground
Leave a comment

Relapse

2009

8.5 / 10

8.5 / 10

Share this content
Related features

Interviews Tombs

Posted June 4, 2016, 8:38 a.m.

The story of Tombs has been nothing if not turbulent. Line-up changes have been a constant issue with the band, but they have not affected ...

Advertisement
KFAI - Root Of All Evil
More by Tombs

Tombs

All Empires Fall

8.0 / 10 Tombs - All Empires Fall album cover

Since their inception back in 2007, Tombs have been in a phase of constant turmoil. Band members have been changed multiple times, with mainman Mike Hill the only original member ...

Tombs

Tombs

7.5 / 10 Tombs - Tombs album cover

Tombs is the latest project from Mike Hill (former member of the criminally underrated bands Anodyne and Versoma). Tombs seemingly picks up from where Hill's last and short lived project ...

Related news

Shows Full lineup for Electric Funeral Fest IV

Posted April 6, 2019, 1:04 p.m.

Taking place across three venues in Denver, CO from June 14-15, Electric Funeral Fest IV tickets are on sale. The Friday-Saturday festival features bands like Torche, Thou, Dead Meadow, Tombs ...

Music News Vulgar Display of Purring awareness program launched

Posted June 10, 2018, 2:05 p.m.

A new non-profit initiative named And Justice For Paws... was recently launched by Bob Legowe, co-owner of Brutal Panda Records. The initiative will raise money and awareness for domestic and ...

Tours TOMBS spring tour

Posted Jan. 9, 2017, 10:39 p.m.

Tombs will be touring the southern United States later this spring, joined by Darkest Hour, Ringworm, and Rivers Of Nihil. The band, interviewed last year by SPB, has also entered ...

x

Logo

Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:

Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.