We have some history with Tombstalker, starting with a post back in 2012 about metal in Kentucky (here), following that the next year (here) with a review of their self-titled EP, and then including some commentary in 2015 about their fine and ferocious debut album Black Crusades. And here we are, two years later, gleefully helping spread the word about a new Tombstalker EP named Chaotic Devotion.
This latest offering is a two-track electrocution set for release by Boris Records on September 19 as a 7″ vinyl and as a digital download, and it’s a hell of a ride.
About some of the music from their debut album, I wrote that it was “part Bolt Thrower, part d-beat crust, part black metal, part old-school thrash, and all of it caked in grit”, an “awesome mash-up of extreme metal styles that’s gruesome, grisly, and evil”. Those elements of black metal, death metal, thrash, and general battlefield destructiveness are back in full force on this new EP.
“Scared To Death” is fast, hot as hell, and as raw as fresh road burn. It jolts and jumps — if a steamroller could do that, because the music hits like one, with huge, pummeling riffs, brutally battering percussion (courtesy of drummer Basilisk), and a bassist (Defiler) who helps implement the grooves like an enforcer.
But one thing Tombstalker also do very well is infiltrate their warlike assaults with melodic currents that get stuck in the head. With the aid of leads that pulsate and twist, they do that here. Another thing they do very well here (as always) is add a big dose of feral savagery to the mix through the vocals of guitarist Conqueror Horus, which spawn images of exploding tumors, gnashing teeth, and bloodlusting hate.
“Treads of War” is slower and more ominous (at first), with that beast-like voice moving into a ghastly roar (along with emitting acid-spewing shrieks). There’s a deep rumbling undercurrent to the music, eventually given free rein when the band surge into the attack of a jolting juggernaut (you can feel the punishment inflicted on the bass and the tom drums in your sternum), and then they surge further into a black thrashing melee. The pace does slow some, giving the spotlight to a solo that moves from the eerie to the incinerating to a kind of cobra-like swaying.
It’s good to have the Tombstalker trio back among us, spreading their chaotic devotions with even more assurance and strength. For pre-order info, avail yourselves of these links: