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Album Reviews : Greytomb – A Perpetual Descent

By on May 26, 2016

570987There’s not enough truly atmospheric black metal in Australia so when bands like Melbourne’s Greytomb pop up it’s always exciting, and their pre-recording live performances were absolutely mesmerising. Born as a solo project by guitarist J. Angus called Subterranean Drilling Machine the style has changed drastically, expanding to a full line-up, and after a vocalist change is now fronted by Adamus Exul frontman Nick Magur.

Citing bands like Deafheaven, Brisbane’s Hope Drone and Altar of Plagues as influences, Greytomb sit in that same modern vein of drawn out black metal with touches of dissonance and its share of quieter, ambient sections. What separates them from those though is the foundation is more black metal than, for lack of a better term, post- ; the production is rawer rather than a thick wall of sound, the guitars (when heavy) are noisier, and Magur’s vocals range from black metal shrieks to more depressive howls.

All four pieces on A Perpetual Descent are distinct. Opener “The River of Nihil” is a sum-of-all-parts track, a well-balanced introductory. It shows them at both their most ferocious before breaking down with some of the most memorable, slower guitar work on there. At 16 minutes long “Urban Moulder” bring some doom into the fold, complimented with spoken word and a surprisingly beautiful ambient section in the latter half. “VOID” is an ambient noise piece that will split people, being not particularly interesting and perhaps loses impact after the grand track before it. Things pick up again for closer “Boundless Introspection”, the heaviest song overall, and drumming highlight.

Greytomb are a more than welcome addition to the Australian scene and A Perpetual Descent is a damn fine debut. They nail the mood, it’s nice and varied and the performances are all ‘round hard to fault.

About

Mitch Booth is the owner, designer and grand overlord of Metal Obsession. In the few seconds of spare time he has outside of this site, he also hosts a metal radio show over on PBS 106.7fm in Melbourne (Australia) and organises shows under the name Untitled Touring. You should follow him on Twitter.