TOMBS – Winterhours (2009)

Tombs - Winterhours I recently reviewed the newest album by Kylesa, and in said review, I remarked that while the album was good, I wasn’t sure how well it’d stack up against other metal albums as the year wore on. Well, I just got my hands on a copy of Tombs’ Winterhours, in preparation for an upcoming show they’ll be playing with Wolves In The Throne Room and Pelican. Now, Winterhours was released about a month ago, so in a weird way, it preemptively validates the statement I made earlier about Kylesa. Simply put, it’s an album that’s much more my speed.

To begin with, it’s both far less simplistic in its approach than Static Tensions is. Sure, that album’s got energy behind it, but it’s a bit one-dimensional – and one-dimensional is one thing that Winterhours is not. It’s just as likely to lull you into a post-hardcore daze as it is likely to smash your face in when it kicks into ultradrive death metal mode. A few minutes in, and I can easily see why Relapse Records signed these guys. For them, that decision was a total no-brainer. By far, my favorite moments of the album are when Tombs channel the spirit of Burning Witch and slow-things waaaaay down to an (almost) halt, before exploding back up to tempo like it was nothing (example: the opening of Filled With Secrets). Yes, I know that that’s been done before, but damn. What a rush.

What I said earlier about Kylesa making it big still stands, but I suppose I should mention here that while I did enjoy Static Tensions for what it was, my statement about their inevitable (sort-of) stardom should not be taken as a face-value endorsement; it’s simply an observation – no more, no less. So, if you happen to be debating between getting Static Tensions and…well, something else, I recommend Winterhours. Face it: Kylesa don’t need your help making it to the metal big-time (such as it is). And Winterhours is guaranteed to please.

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