Tome: 1 contains 53 minutes of atmospheric/progressive black metal. Dismalimerence adopt a modern approach to their material. Wrapping an atmospheric emphasis around progressive flourishes, these eight tracks take in a variety of moods, paces, and feelings, resulting in tracks that are enjoyable and satisfying.
The songs on this album create engaging atmosphere easily. Utilising melody well, the leads and solos are quite expressive, and work with the rest of the music effectively. There’s a depressive black metal feel to some of the mournful melodies, although this is not overly felt. Synths occasionally appear, enhancing the moods that are portrayed, while light and shade are used to add texture and variety.
Parts of the music are much more progressive in structure and feel than others, and it’s a credit to the band’s songwriting that everything here works together so well. In fact, you can tell that the band have some real progressive metal influences and aspirations just from the fact that you can hear the bass and how it makes valid, non-black metal contributions in some sections, never mind anything else that also reveals this.
The overriding principle of the music seems to be the portrayal of emotion and feeling, and the band’s chosen blackened medium is well-suited to this. It should also be noted, however, that when they need to Dismalimerence know how to raise the stakes when it comes to aggression, and some parts of some of the songs are actually quite brutal in nature.
Tome: 1 is a very well-rounded and accomplished debut album. Well-written and filled with compelling and immersive music, this is a very strong album in every way.
Very highly recommended.