T.O.M.B. ‘Thin The Veil’
Album Review By Adam McCann
Dark Essence Records/Avant-Garde Black Metal
Thinking of black metal often draws up connotations of snow, Norway, corpse paint and church burnings; but in the 21st century, most countries around the world have a burgeoning black metal scene and of course, that is no different for the United States. Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy (T.O.M.B.) have been grinding out the black metal circuit for just over 20 years now, culminating in a total of five studio albums released roughly every 3 years. This year has the Pennsylvanian black metal band returning to offer their 6th studio album ‘Thin the Veil’.
When it comes to T.O.M.B., the Americans are known for their melding of industrial grooves and wall of noise approach with traditional black metal; yet, with ‘Thin the Veil’, this album is the sound of band stepping away from those previous sounds and embracing one that is totally second wave of black metal. Yes, that wall of sound approach is still there delivered in that typical black metal way; a relentless onslaught of double bass drumming delivered by none other than the indomitable Hellhammer, a man so ingrained in the black metal scene, it is a high honour to have him be anywhere near an album. However, what makes ‘Thin the Veil’ so enjoyable, are the hypnotically delivered necromantic chants repeated over and over again by Mories of Gnaw Their Tongues fame; these droning chants make this album quite powerful in a dark sense and provide a drive that T.O.M.B. have never quite replicated previously that can be seen during tracks such as ‘No Return’, ‘Pure Noise Necromancy’ and ‘Invocation’ that would appeal to fans of Deathspell Omega, Gnaw Their Tongues and of course, Mayhem.
With ‘Thin the Veil’, this is a real turning point for T.O.M.B., the band have delivered an album of atmospheric black metal, spliced with a traditional second wave black metal that has the potential to be T.O.M.B.’s magnum opus.
Rating : 75/100
MHF Magazine/Adam McCann