Download: Tombs’ Skin-Crawlingly Psychedelic “Vermillion”


Brooklyn’s blackened mushmakers Tombs make expansive, transcendent, sun-scorched heavy metal that sounds like a jet engine blast of glorious, heart-warming misery. Equal parts the icegaze churn of classic Ulver, the skydiving sludge of Godflesh and the hypnotic cycles of Neurosi, the exact spot where Tombs sits is hard to map–a place where post-rock chugs give way to woozy black metal blurs. So the real defining take from Tombs is their sound: equal parts hazy and wretched, blown-out and insular, warm and weary, monolithic and pretty fucking monolitic. Tombs’ second album, Path Of Totality (due June 7 via Relapse), is 57 minutes of skin-crawling agony seen through comforting blear and inviting whoosh, upping the ante of the band’s more uplifting 2009 debut Winter Hours. “Vermillion” has the psychedelic roar of recent Nachtmystium, the murky growl of classic goth bands like Christian Death, the sputtering tom-tom work of a caffeinated progger, and a soaring bridge that sounds like a certain punk rock classic.

Download: [audio-1]

Tombs frontman Mike Hill on “Vermillion”

What is “Vermillion” about?

The song is about embracing death. I was reading the old Vertigo comic book Death, about the Neil Gaiman character. You may remember her from the comic books series Sandman, as well as her own series. She is sort of a guide to the next life. The concept of a female anthropomorphic version of death leading you into the void seems quite romantic to me. I listened to a lot of Fields of the Nephilim and Ulver; both of those bands figure heavily into the Tombs sound.

There seems to be a bit more euphoric and uplifting feel on this than the last record. What’s your favorite uplifting music that isn’t metal? What about your favorite New York spots for uplifting vibes?

Favorite uplifting music? Hmm… that’s a hard one. I suppose AC/DC is kind of an uplifting sort of band, so I’ll go with that. As far as uplifting spot in New York, that is an even tougher question. I like the view of the Hudson River looking north from the George Washington Bridge.

Am I imagining a tribute to the Wipers’ “Youth Of America” at 3:40?

Interesting. I’m not saying that it is and I’m not saying that it isn’t.

What’s your favorite place to eat in Brooklyn?

Bozu Sushi on Grand Street.