Tombs
Savage Gold


2.5
average

Review

by Scott Murphy USER (1 Reviews)
August 7th, 2014 | 16 replies


Release Date: 06/10/2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Mild bronze.

Everything seemed to be in Tombs’ favor upon the announcement of Savage Gold, what with a recently acclaimed (and dubstep free) sophomore effort, Path of Totality, as well as seasoned musician/producer Erik Rutan taking up production duties. Yet, despite the promising setup, what Tombs actually delivered is an album that is inoffensive to a fault; songs so methodical and uneventful that it is difficult to feel any type of strong emotion about them. In essence, neither of the title’s words act as fitting adjectives for the album that they belong to.

The central cause of this stems from a problem that Tombs initiates and Rutin exacerbates: bland songwriting hindered further by mechanical production. A grand majority of the album sprints by in a blur of instruments that, while technically well played, provide no real emotional depth for the listener to latch on to. But again, the blame also lies with Rutin; neither the black metal nor sludge metal tendencies present are highlighted properly. Instead of raw tremolos and pummeling riffs, the album’s tame guitar tone provides a consistent sense of riskless clarity.

Even the few moments where Tombs is on point ultimately fizzle out. While the massive build on album opener “Thanatos” provides an excellent primer for the album, the track stumbles with an uninspired midpoint and then stumbles until its conclusion. And when the band conjures sinister auras on “Deathtripper” and “Severed Lies,” vocalist/guitarist Mike Hill enters with a subpar performances that completely detract from the mood. His dead-pan, lifeless delivery is similarly disappointing throughout the rest of the album as well.

What does stand out on this album is the complete lack of atmosphere that is typically characteristic of bands lumped under the post metal banner. Tracks will occasionally enter or exit with a brief, synth-laden passage, but on the whole, Savage Gold has a distinct lack of musical exploration. Perhaps if Tombs’ songwriting was more adventurous and Rutin’s production more complimentary, then such a straightforward approach may not have been so uninteresting.

The redundancy of these critiques points to how much potential could have been realized if a few key components had seen some much-needed maintenance. But given the dull and unpolished product put forth on Savage Gold, it seems as though Tombs needed an act of alchemy to transform it into gold.


user ratings (43)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
MiotalTrom
August 6th 2014


4 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I saw that this had no review, so I used the opportunity to vent.

zaruyache
August 6th 2014


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

the album’s tame guitar tone provides a consistent sense of riskless clarity

Expertly sums up most of the issues I have with [modern] black metal production.

Digging: Maybeshewill - Fair Youth

Hawks
August 6th 2014


35838 Comments


Last album is a 3.5 at best for me. Should I check this or nah?

SomeGuyDude
August 6th 2014


92 Comments


Not sure what version of this you were listening to, but the production on this thing is just massive. The only issue I hear is that the kick drums could have had more heft to them. It's a rule with Erik Rutan that he can produce albums for everyone except his own band, and this is no exception.

I'm also not sure where the "blur of instruments" came from considering the general midpace tempo of everything. This isn't exactly grindcore. Nor is it post, and I'm not sure where that reference came from.

I dunno. I'm not in love with the album but the stuff here seems confusing.

emester
August 6th 2014


4374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

Love this album at first. Grows off really quick though and isn't memorable. Its a barely a 3.5 imo

Digging: Skelator - King of Fear

zaruyache
August 6th 2014


7410 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I'd been listening to the bandcamp stream--which admittedly probably isn't the best way to go about it because it's not a high-quality stream, but I never cared enough to actually find a 320 rip.

emester
August 6th 2014


4374 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5 | Sound Off

really don't bother with it tbh.

MiotalTrom
August 6th 2014


4 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I purchased this from their Bandcamp, and have listened to it through multiple different headphones and speakers as well as in my Jeep, and each time the production sounded extremely bland and lifeless. Perhaps it sounds massive to you, but it does nothing for me.

And by "blur," I mean impact, not speed. Every time I tried to listen to this when I first downloaded it, the songs flew by without leaving me with anything to grasp on to. There is just not a lot here that I find memorable.

Tombs has been referenced as having post-metal tendencies by several publications/people. Perhaps I should have clarified that this is not their overall genre tag, but the genre designation still fits to a degree in my opinion.



osmark86
August 7th 2014


4544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I remember digging this a bit when I first heard it, but I can't recall a single moment now that I think about it.

Wizard
August 7th 2014


19641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Not sure what version of this you were listening to, but the production on this thing is just massive.

I have the cd version and the production sounds like shit (very thin like all his records). The review is spot on criticizing Rutan and the production but here's why the album fails on some many levels:

His dead-pan, lifeless delivery is similarly disappointing throughout the rest of the album as well.

The black metal parts on here really show signs of apathy. The vocals also became terrible on here as well.

Just really disappointed with this overall. They we're onto something awesome and then bam, took a step backwards.

Digging: Ash Borer - Cold of Ages

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2014


31616 Comments


I can definitely agree with all the negative points being made here, but I dunno, I still enjoy it

Digging: Theo Parrish - American Intelligence

Wizard
August 7th 2014


19641 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Are you a fan of their other records?

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
August 7th 2014


31616 Comments


Big fan of Path Of Totality. I think I came across them when that album was getting buzz around here. And I can definitely see the step down in quality from that to this, but like I said it's still enjoyable to me. It's not reinventing the wheel and sure, there's far better out there but it is what it is

lalchimiste
August 7th 2014


257 Comments


Wow, surprising how this one seems to sound that bad since their other stuff got lots of praises

osmark86
August 7th 2014


4544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

well that sort of shit happens.

NightProwler
September 30th 2014


6598 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review. Haven't heard this all the way through, but off their song "Edge of Darkness", I'd say you have described what this sounds like pretty good. Have a pos!

Digging: St. Vincent - St. Vincent



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