EP Review: TOMBS All Empires Fall
People can hate on Brooklyn all they want, but goddamn if it hasn't been a hotbed of forward thinking metal over the past decade, and Tombs are at the forefront of that enviable regard. Gaining a substantial following with 2011's Path of Totality, the New York quintet made their biggest splash yet in 2014 with the universally lauded Savage Gold. If one calendar equals seven dog years, however, two of them are an absolute lifetime in the world of post-metal informed black metal, a genre that by and large has been flagging in both influence and popularity of late, due to no discernible fault in the quality of work emanating from its folds.
This EP comes as a welcome stopgap, then, proving Tombs are still capable of topping themselves as well as most similar acts toiling in their wake. "The World Is Made of Fire" is an amiable enough slow burn instrumental introduction before the band launches into the fairly straight faced USBM anthem "Obsidian". "Deceiver" is an equally accessible bit of mid-tempo fare that relies on fairly traditional death metal riffing, that song being bookended by a pair of tracks that skew equal parts old goth/death folk and the more industrial side of post-metal (think Justin Broadrick recording an album for 4AD circa 1990… kinda).
Altogether, All Empires Fall suffers somewhat from the scattershot approach that are the hallmark of the extended play format – Tombs seem to be trying on a few new hats for size, to mostly successful ends that are nonetheless a bit inconsistent in terms of flow – but the willingness to tweak their existing formula is a good look for a band charged with setting the bar for the genre.