Tuesday, 1 January 2019
TAR PIT ~ TOMB OF DOOM ..... review
With interests that include the occult, pre-historic beasts and extra-terrestrial life plus a musical palette that spans from Blood Ceremony to Conan it is no surprise to find that Portland, Oregon's Tar Pit have a sound that reflects their tastes, a sound that is dank, dark and in places a little disturbing. Tar Pit's Mathew Ortega (vocals), Brandon Martinez-Woodall (guitar), Stephen Hoffman (lead guitar), Hayden Johnson (bass & additional vocals) and Derek Johnson (drums0 combine together to create grooves that, to Desert Psychlist's ears, have a gritty sludge metal edge yet are melodic enough to fall into proto-doom territory, however that's only our take on things you can decide if you agree by giving their latest opus "Tomb of Doom" a spin.
"Tomb of Doom" opens with "Rune" a thunderous doomic tome driven by powerful percussion and heavily distorted guitars coated in clean but grizzled vocal tones that over the course of its ten minute plus duration switches back and forth between slow low doom and thrash paced sludge, the band further confusing things by throwing in an element of lysergic texturing. "Sauin" follows crawling out of the speakers on a wave of droning feedback behind a plodding doom riff before a heavily blues soaked guitar solo rends the air and the band fall into a throbbing proto-doom groove that intermittently drops back into slow/low mode. A strong powerful vocal with a swinging melody counterbalances the pummelling rhythms,dank riffs and swirling blues infused solo's and in doing so takes everything to whole new plane of doomic excellence. "Capra Nocturnus" finds Tar Pit wallowing in a stoner doomic mire of dankness and despair, heavier and more intense than the previous two songs "Capra Nocturnus" shows Tar Pit have more than one string to their bow and if they really wanted to compete with the Conan's and Yob's of this world then they have the necessary arrows in their quiver to do just that. Next up is "Bruja" and sees Tar Pit once again donning their proto-doomic robes for a song built around an incessant and addictive chugging riff that is taken to another level by cool slightly echoed vocals and swirling lead breaks. Tar Pit round things off nicely with title track "Tomb of Doom" a song that could well have been called "blues by any other name", the band delving deep into their roots to create a doomic blues groove that is as much delta as it is damnation.
To be perfectly honest Desert Psychlist nearly missed this sterling blend of doom, sludge and blues and only become aware of it when it appeared on this December's "The Doom Charts"(2018), a project we actually contribute to! Thank god it did as Tar Pit's "Tomb of Doom" is easily one of the highlights of what was an extremely good year for underground rock music.
Check it out ….
© 2019 Frazer Jones