Abstracter’s Tomb of Feathers actually came out nearly a year ago and sleeping on it was a huge mistake. This sprawling album from the Oakland band is post metal in excelsis with aspects of sludge and psychedelica to boot. Frankly, there’s a lot going on in this record, which is why it demands your full attention at all times.
Swirling death doom riffs collide with lush melodic passages that drink from the Pelican fountain from time to time, meanwhile the vocals carry a similar dichotomy. When not shaking the very ground we’re walking on with deathly bellows and barks, vocalist Mattia lays down staggering clean vocals that are near operatic in their scope; just take the gauntlet laid down by the first track ‘Walls That Breathe,’ for example.
There’s even a flair of Tool to be heard slithering around in these bleak sonic journeys, heard in the more stripped back verses only to be complemented by the cerebral riffs of the aforementioned Pelican and the unavoidable influence of their neighbours, Neurosis.
The second track, ‘To Vomit Crows,’ though, flirts with a pacier side to the band, with riffs loosely reminiscent of earlier Zozobra but fed through an influence of Downfall of Gaia’s despondency. It’s an invigorating presence to say the least and the ceremonial vibe of the clean vocals adds another evocative layer to this puzzle.
Finally the 16 minute ‘Ash’ concludes this three-chaptered journey into the abyss, first with crushing Mourning Beloveth-esque riffs that will cave you head in, which are soon met by a dizzying post metal homage in the mid-point with meandering sludgy riffs. It attests to Abstracter’s multi-faceted layers where they can keep piling on new ideas without seeming forced.
Tomb of Feathers is a definite triumph for this band and who knows what they’ll do next. It could be breathtaking.