Tombs - Fear Is The Weapon
Brooklyn’s Tombs emerged last year to the world at large with stunning full length Winter Hours, an object lesson in black metal that made most of their drop their bullet belts and pay attention. To make the wait until album two seem shorter, Relapse have unleashed Fear Is The Weapon, collating the band’s early material, with the added incentive of a few demos from the pre-production process for the first album thrown in.
Although their original eponymous EP might not have the rich sound and monumental depth of Winter Hours, it still has that wonderful blend of uncompromising heaviness and melodious grace throughout; all seven tracks flow together so perfectly, a record created as a whole rather than as a collection of songs and riffs. Both the EP and the polished tracks from the split with Planks pace themselves beautifully, effortlessly switching from furious black attack to doom-laden dirge or sorrowful beauty and back; the contrast serves to add impact to the relevant passages and avoids the age-old trap of tiresome monotony.
The four demos at the end of this compilation are an interesting curio; though not vastly different to the finished recordings, the fact they are live and very much rawer makes them a worthy addition. Fear Is The Weapon is only a one-time pressing of 1,000 copies, so whilst it may not be an ideal entry point into the stunning music of Tombs, it should certainly be on the wish list of anyone who enjoyed Winter Hours.