This is the debut album from US black metal band Tómarúm.
Featuring a member of The Ritual Aura, and session members from Inferi and Virvum, Ash in Realms of Stone Icons contains 60 minutes of progressive black/death metal.
Tómarúm’s take on progressive black metal takes influence from both atmospheric black metal and technical death metal. The former adds an expansive layer to their sound, allowing them to create broad soundscapes of progressive exploration, while the latter adds technical bite, muscular aggression, and wicked shredding to the proceedings.
Imagine a mix of Wolves in the Throne Room and Cormorant being played by technical death metallers – including wandering bass and shredfest guitar heroics – and you’ll have a rough idea of what to expect on Ash in Realms of Stone Icons.
The album is crisp, clear, and punchy in its delivery. Every instrument can be heard sharply and all have been given the space to showcase their best side. It’s readily apparent from the very first track that the band can really play, and the album is a vehicle for their technical wizardry.
The songs are largely aggressive and fast, building mood and atmosphere with expressive skill. The music is layered with the various instruments, including rich keyboards. Tómarúm carve out their sound with confidence, building technical soundscapes that don’t lack in atmospheric qualities or melodic depths.
The vocals mostly consist of piercing screams and deep growls, and I very much like how both of them are delivered. Clean singing also appears infrequently, and works well when it does.
Ash in Realms of Stone Icons is a professional album that demonstrates the abilities of the band members really well. Tómarúm have crafted a quality release, one that rewards the time spent to get to know its labyrinthine ways.
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