01. Ex Oblivion 02. Killed By Death (MOTÖRHEAD Cover) 03. Commit Suicide (GG ALLIN Cover) 04: Sombre Ruins Nothing Remains (RKGD Audio Remix) 05. Murder Legendre
Always interested more in embarking upon a singular dark musical journey rather than strictly adhering to any strict playbook's rules, TOMBS' focus is on a left-field approach toward revelatory musical expression instead of mind-numbing allegiance to tired tropes. The Brooklyn-based act returns with "Ex Oblivion", a five-song EP including new music, a remixed track and a couple of interesting covers. While the release may tide fans over between full-length albums, there's little surprise that TOMBS has yet again doled out music that matters.
The unit's ongoing creative depth makes sense considering that its driving force, frontman Mike Hill, is a workaholic who remains active in a broad array of endeavors. Though he was previously known for his work with ANODYNE, Mike's musical resume includes OTIS, KING GENERATOR, VERSOMA, SCORPION THRONE and VASILEK. What's more, he has his own coffee company; he's involved with several music and horror podcasts; and he's a print and online journalist. His creative depth and energy shine brightly throughout "Ex Oblivion".
The haunting, opening title track, inspired by the H.P. Lovecraft story of the same name, is informed musically by goth rock as much as it is by black metal, merging hard-hitting rhythms, soul-stirring guitar melodies, Hill's venomous black metal screeches and his Andrew Eldritch-esque melodic vocals. TOMBS' interesting take on MOTORHEAD's classic "Killed By Death" follows. It's true to the original, though it sounds completely different because TOMBS works from an entirely different kind of template. And if that song doesn't sound as though the uber dank TOMBS is actually having fun, the GG ALLIN cover, "Commit Suicide", strikes with an even more upbeat attack, in spite of the ironically counterpointing nihilism inherently tied to the source song's thematic backdrop. Interestingly, the ghost of CARNIVORE-era Pete Steele comes through Hill's delivery here.
If those selections weren't ambitious enough and successfully pulled off, TOMBS reaches further with the remix of "Sombre Ruins". The song originally appeared on the 2020 full-length "Under Sullen Skies". Now titled "Sombre Ruins Nothing Remains (RKGD Audio Remix)", Hill's longtime friend Alap Momin (aka Oktopus, formerly of experimental/industrial hip-hop outfit DALEK) takes the song to a different level entirely, one colored by a foreboding electronic soundscape. The song segues seamlessly into the EP's finale, "Murder Legendre", a minimalist sonic experience built upon an eerie and addictively repetitive keyboard sequence and deep, spoken-word vocals.
TOMBS' genre-defying nature is simply a given considering its output over the last 15 years. But with "Ex Oblivion", the experimental band ups the ante on what they were doing before. Sure, the hybrid of black metal, post-metal, sludge and post-punk remain, but the goth rock and industrial touches have never been so obvious.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).