Tar Pit - Tomb of Doom (2019)
Following a few line-up adjustments and a hard-to-find demo, the Portland-based quintet of Tar Pit have emerged with their debut album, boasting about forty minutes of hot-blooded doom metal across its five tracks. Drawing from the late-'70s/early-'80s vibes of basements, dungeons, and caverns, along with the inclination to build expansive narratives, the group tempers the quirks of yesteryear with some firm structuring, focused production handling, and a meaner demeanor. The tracks flow into each other with fine style, the grooves are deep and dirty, and the guitar solos, when they arise, are both vivacious and suitably downcast.
As the album goes on, it really gets its hooks into you, aided by the clever positioning of the tracks; they start out with the longest song, then gradually shorten them down to the middle, then grow them back out on the way to the end. It's a neat way of accelerating the pace without sacrificing any of the weight, and seeing it put to use on a first album impresses further how much potential this band has. There's nothing to detract from Tomb of Doom's power as an album in its own right, though, with no sign of the fumbles or self-conscious second-guessing that so regularly pop up to pull down early works. If anything, my complaint would be that it feels a little short, but at the same time, that helps them keep it trim and punchy.
While I'll be sour that I won't have a chance to see these guys live anytime soon, that's somewhat salved by the knowledge that a copy of the album is on its way. Check them out for yourself, snag a copy of the cassette pressing if that's a format you rock (only 100 copies made), and keep your ears perked for more to come from Tar Pit. In the musical world, at least, 2019 is starting off on a good note.
For Fans Of; Below, Blood Farmers, Goya, Merlin, Saint Vitus
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