Un_The Tomb of All ThingsOnce again, it’s that awesome moment when you’re given a band whose name isn’t exactly search engine-friendly. Joining the ranks of VoicesSatanHell, and Tomb of Finland, we have… Un. Not the easiest name to google for a band. Rumor has it that this Seattle band was once called Un The Non-Believer, and their logo was a leiopleurodon who would whisk the listener away to a mountain of candy while two unicorns disemboweled a third inside of said mountain.1 Even so, the sheer level of heavy brought forth by their debut, The Tomb of All Things, cannot be denied.

Do you folks like Pallbearer? Of course ya do, silly! Un sounds like they do as well, except they decided to slow things down to a sloth-on-downers crawl, kept the uplifting guitar melodies to the barest of minimums, and thought it would be pretty swell to replace the dulcet, harmonious vocals of Brett Campbell with that of a rabid grizzly bear. Said grizzly bear, Monte Mccleery (Samothrace), has a very convincing growl to him, reminding me of As the Flower Withers-era Aaron Stainthorpe (My Dying Bride). With the exception of a “clean” shouting part in proper opener “Sol Marasmus,” it’s just full-on guttural growls, perfect for this particular album.

Musically, while Pallbearer is a good reference point, this is less uplifting. In fact, it could go toe-to-toe with Mournful Congregation in terms of sheer oppressive sadness and unrelenting heaviness. Mccleery and fellow guitarist David Wright wring out every chunky riff, using only the sparsest amount of melodies as a garnish, especially the incredible lead at the 5:32-6:07 mark in “Through the Luminous Dusk.” There’s even a bit of black metal drumming courtesy of Andrew Jamieson near the end of the title track to keep listeners on their toes, with Mccleery shrieking. “Forgotten Path,” the longest song at over 14 minutes, draws you in and keeps you planted to the earth, with a lush melody at 4:15, before caving your head directly into your feet at 4:42 with the mother of all riff and drum combos.

Are there faults on The Tomb of All Things? Sure, there are a few. Just like Pallbearer before them, the songs go on and on, and a five-song, 53-minute album can be quite daunting, especially since the intro, “Epigraph,” is just two-and-a-half minutes long. Thankfully, there aren’t many wasted moments on here, and even “Epigraph” fits in beautifully. Sound-wise, the Jon Lervold production is absolutely massive, with the guitars and drums taking up all the breathing space, even though bassist Clayton Wolff can be heard at times. Even so, the bleakness is given some clearing space whenever a quiet, reflective part arrives, giving the album much-needed dynamics.

Un_2015

I’m bummed that my year-end list has been solidified already, as The Tomb of All Things is quite the beastly funeral doom record. You can’t go wrong putting this in your collection if you want your holiday seasons to be full of doom and gloom. I just wish they went with my name suggestion.2


Rating: 4.0/5.0
DR: 8 | Format Reviewed: 160 kbps mp3
Label: Black Bow Records
Websites: unvibes.bandcamp.com | facebook.com/unvibes
Releases Worldwide: December 4, 2015

Show 2 footnotes

  1. I’m full of shit here, but now I’ve got you thinking of Charlie the Unicorn. You’re welcome.
  2. “UN THE NON-BELIEVER!!!! UN!!! UUUUUUUUUN!!!” */unicorn*
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  • Ah, the old “candy mountain trick.” Never gets old.

  • André Snyde Lopes

    I was going to make a joke about there being two doom album reviews in a row but that absolutely stunning cover art and the positive(ly awesome) review convinced me otherwise.

    • I honestly think IF you would have done that, it would have most certainly spelled out your doom. Thank goodness you didn’t do that though.

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Getting your doom spelled out isn’t so bad though, especially when it’s spelled out A-S-P-H-Y-X, then it’s fantastic.

        • André Snyde Lopes

          Shit, man. I haven’t had my phyx of those guys in a while… Gotta get on it!

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            There’s never a bad time for Asphyx, I reckon. Side note: ‘On the Wings of Inferno’ is massively underrated.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            So far, I have only listened to Death… the Brutal Way and Deathhammer (both excellent records), but I will correct this asap.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            You’re in for a treat, their whole discography rules including and especially those records. Also, Asphyx has a couple of side-Asphyx bands that sound like Asphyx that you should check out too if you haven’t already. Grand Supreme Blood Court is one of them. Another is Soulburn, which is basically Asphyx playing black metal while still stubbornly being Asphyx, and their record from last year ‘The Suffocating Darkness’ is killer. Would’ve made my Top Ten of 2014, but I heard it in 2015 because it somehow slipped under my radar and the shame will never disappear.

          • André Snyde Lopes

            Thanks for the recommendations, man, I had no plans for the weekend. ;)

          • For SHAME! Somebody had to do it.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            In for a penny, in for a pound: I think Soulburn’s record sounds better on the CD’s DR6 master than the DR15 or so dynamic edition too.

          • Let me give a listen. I assume you ARE level matching both, right?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            Briefly, but the most telling for me was playing both masters straight through on the same stereo. I hope you can find the dynamic mix somewhere, because I’ve never seen it uploaded anywhere on the internet before. It comes as data on the CD, which I have at home. No Bandcamp version either because Century Media :(

          • You HAVE to level match else you will get fooled. That, I guarantee. This is CM so this was Dan “Da Man” Swano is my guess. At least historically speaking, his vinyl masters have always been better sounding to my ears (and his) than his crushed DR6 ones (though I admit, his DR6 masters can sound quite good).

            I will seek this record out because you have me now intrigued.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            ‘Tis Mr. Swano indeed. He seems to do every project that has anything to do with Asphyx.

          • Pimpolho

            People always say Asphyx is great, but i never really heard them, because i always thought they were more of a death metal band. How doomy are they?

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            They get pretty doomy pretty often. They’re basically the best death-doom band that ever was IMO.

          • I second all these points.

          • Name’s Dalton

            It’s no “On the Wings of Love,” I’ll give ya that.

          • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

            The sound effects…my God the sound effects…

        • [not a Dr]

          Awesome spelling.
          Ambiguous pronunciation.

    • Monsterth Goatom

      Yes, nice cover art. I’ve never seen such a beautiful sewage outlet pipe. Or is that a va-jay-jay dentata?

      • André Snyde Lopes

        No need to be so anal about these things.

        • Grymm

          That there. I saw that.

        • No need for back door jokes. Honestly, now.

          EDIT: I’m sorry for thread crapping on Grymm’s most excellent review (great record).

        • Monsterth Goatom

          You should see my responses to the Rorschach test.

  • Monsterth Goatom

    Thanks, Grymm. Anything Pallbearer-related has my interest. And I still think “Ashes” is a great song!

    • Grymm

      “Ashes” is slowly growing on me.

      Slowly.

      • El_Cuervo

        I don’t get this, even going back to your original review.

        It’s such an awesome reprieve after “The Ghost I Used to Be”, it immediately struck me with its quiet emotion.

        • Grymm

          It just doesn’t connect with me like the rest of the album did.

    • Carlos Marrickvillian

      I love Ashes too, beautiful guitar work and honest emotive vocals.
      Despite it being quite Atypical It would be one of my favourite pallbearer songs.

  • El_Cuervo

    A magic unicorn joke? Get moar kvlt u poseur

    • Grymm

      YVV CVN’T FVVL MY TRVVNVSS!!!*

      *-Translated from WRVTHese: “YOU CAN’T FEEL MY TR00NESS!!!”

      • Diabolus_in_Muzaka

        Glad to see THV WRVTH VCCVRD OV 2015 is still being followed by the guy who was instrumental in getting it passed!

  • Will Atheling

    Bandcamp link seems to be of the more Un-useful kind… No stream, no order – what gives? [email protected]

    • Grymm

      It should be up on Friday, I’m assuming (date of release).

  • Gaia

    As a big Samothrace fan this is something I need to hear! Apparently, this was written in reflection of Mccleery overcoming a blood cancer diagnosis last year.

    • Grymm

      I did not know about the blood cancer diagnosis. Sincerely hoping he’s okay. Holy shit!

  • El_Cuervo

    (a couple of days later and after having given this some time now).

    This is the good shit. This is doom metal is all about.