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Nomadic Rituals : Nomadic Rituals/Tome (Split Single)

A nicely-presented vinyl split from two UK Sludge bands well worth checking out.

Back in 2013 Northern Ireland's Nomadic Rituals released 'Holy Giants', which is, quite frankly, an absolute belter of a record. A gargantuan slab of primitive and filthy sounding Sludge/Doom. A seriously heavy affair, in the vein of Conan, but with a distinctive Death/Black approach to the vocals. Moreover, it wasn't just the crushing music which caught the attention. Imagery and song titles with astral and cosmic vibes along with references to giants, monoliths and 'greys' raised the eyebrows of both intrigue and anticipation, whilst the atmospheres captured throughout the albums duration were truly engaging.

Tome's slightly more lo-fi two-track demo from 2012 sounds at times as though it was recorded in an ancient burial chamber, and emits a rich, earthy, crypt-like sensation of solace and dank isolation. Both bands clearly share more than just a hometown in common, given the otherworldly qualities of their music, the sense of which is heightened here on two moderately lengthier tracks on this split release.

It is fair to say that both tracks on offer here are as punishingly heavy as they are atmospheric, which is no real suprise. Taking the epic fourteen minute odyssey 'The Great Dying' as a starting point, Nomadic Rituals crack on from where they previously left off at the end of 'Holy Giants'. Foreboding feedback/noise ushers in the slow, crushing sludge and the vocals bark at you from behind riffs which are seriously low end. Further on during a rather unsettling breakdown, the bass rumbles away on its own before the track builds back up to a raucous conclusion. Rhythmic, tribal drumming and shifting sections of riffs (reminiscent of certain tracks from Bast's 'Spectres' album) build effortlessly before the whole thing grinds to a halt, with feedback lingering in the air. If, as its title suggests, this is indeed a paean to the near apocalypse that struck the earth 250 million years ago (or an invocation for one) then it is fittingly one of cosmic proportions.

Tome's track comes at you from beneath. Eerie, ethereal noise beckons in the sub-sonic, shamanistic sounds which bring to mind dimly lit places of ceremony, crackling fires and hooded figures. It will be down to the listener just where the line between listenable groove and unacceptable repetition lies, although as a one-off the track works well. There's an altogether superstitious atmosphere about this, as opposed to Nomadic Rituals' somewhat grander celebrations, Tome feel that bit more introspective. Given the track's title, perhaps there is the vaguest hint of trepidation at what may or may not be made manifest.

The 12" release comes in a limited run of three hundred, with the sleeves hand printed by the bands. A very nice addition to the collection of any fan of the (UK) sludge/doom scene who likes their vinyl. For those curious, these are two bands whose music - past, present and future - is well worth checking out.

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Reviewer's rating: 7.5/10


Tracklist :
Nomadic Rituals
1. The Great Dying
2. Bone Divinations

Visit the Tome bandpage.

Duration : Approx. 25 minutes

Visit the Nomadic Rituals bandpage.

Reviewed on 2015-06-13 by Matt Halsey
Thermal Mass
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