Sometimes you wonder how an algorithmic recommendation ends up with, when Netflix recommends a romcom while you only watch action or horror, or vice versa. But sometimes it can also be spot on or downright surprising. That is what happened to me when Spotify pointed out this American Tómarúm, the name in combination with the amazingly beautiful artwork made me click on it and I immediately dived into the wonderful world of Tómarúm. A young band with only a self-released demo and EP before this debut released via Prosthetic Records.
The band seems to think of itself primarily as a Black Metal band, but it has just as much common ground with Death Metal that it is best seen as some sort of fusion of both genres. But even that would do the band any justice. This five-piece band of remarkably good musicians make their way through the wildness of their own creations and intentions. Cutting Black Metal collides in a stunningly precise way with Death Metal grunts, droning lead bass parts, lead guitars flying in all directions, atmospheric piano and keyboards, epic clean vocals and even jazzy parts. It clearly cannot be crazy or daring enough for this band. But it does works! Where many bands with similar madness in their heads often get stuck in a kind of inextricable mush and chaos, Tórmarúm manages to create some form of order and even beauty in it. By slowing down a bit now and then, we can hear even better how session bassist (fretless) Arran McSporran steals the show in an almost inimitable way. Also the instrumental and sometimes acoustic interludes show us how a more subdued Tómarúm sounds and weaves even more dynamics into the already versatile and colourful music.
Whether you call this Post Death Metal, Post Black Metal, Progressive Death Metal or Progressive Atmospheric Post Black Death Metal: who cares? If you like your metal adventurous and doesn’t shy away from some musical enigma, then Tómarúm is particularly suitable. This musical equivalent of a Rubik’s cube proves on this first album (which is still hard to believe) that they have a lot to offer. The downside of all this is of course that the bar for the successor of ‘Ash In Realms Of Stone Icons’ has been set very high. (FelixS)