“Seven songs of scathing black metal mysticism from one of Indonesia’s most enigmatic bands”. That’s the concise introduction to Tombstone‘s new album To the Existence of Light proffered by Gutter Prince Cabal, the label that will release the record on March 1st of this year.
It turns out to be an accurate evocation of this Jakarta duo’s music in the follow-up to their 2020 debut full-length The Awakening of Darkness, as you shall learn for yourselves through our premiere of the song “Guardians of Land and Sea“.
The tale of the song is summarized in these words: “‘Guardians of Land and Sea‘ is a track about a creature of great power, who seeks to conquer the land and the seas in a quest to bring them under his control and by doing so attain godhood.”
In portraying this narrative Tombstone quickly create a dire and haunting atmosphere and then, in a mid-paced movement, lay out immersive swaths of whining guitar and undulating, hook-heavy bass lines, which collectively create a sensation that’s dismal and distraught. Caustic screams extravagantly pierce the ears, and the lead guitar’s charismatic high whir deepens the sensations of despair on a vast scale.
Vivid slashing chords and those heaving bass tones add to the music’s foreboding darkness, even as that catchy bass motif and the pop and rumble of the drums keeps a fire under the pulse. The song’s central, supernatural riff turns out to be just as infectious as the bass groove, and it manifests a kind of anguished grandeur that’s hard to deny.
“Guardians of Land and Sea” is the second track from the new Tombstone album revealed so far. We’re also including a stream of the first one, which is the title song.
At almost 10 minutes in length, it offers a more expansive demonstration of Tombstone‘s multi-faceted talents, including a bright introductory phase that seductively rings and pings — though that short spell is abruptly destroyed in a typhoon of sweeping riffage, both glorious and grievous, and the rhythm section hurtling at maniacal speed.
The title song proves again Tombstone‘s aptitude for creating dark, gripping melodies, as well as a dynamism of movement and mood, using a processional pace to create an atmosphere of oppressiveness, fear, and shattering anguish. Hope seems a foreign concept in the song, but that doesn’t make it any less immersive or memorable, and those larynx-lacerating vocals remain as unhinged in their torment as before.
Yet brightness briefly rings again before the culminating sonic storm-surge rises to breathtaking heights of calamitous power and emotional affliction, ending in a reprise of that beguiling opening phase.
To the Existence of Light was recorded by Abian Ramzi at Ramz Studio, and it was mixed and mastered by Krvna Vatra Smrt at Last Gasp Studios. Credit for the album art goes to Anthonie Berty at Argopuro Mountain, Indonesia.