PICK OF THE WEEK: Glacial Tomb’s killer self-titled debut brings virulent death, smashing chaos

Photo by Alvino Salcedo

There used to be a time that when you’d get to the end of October/beginning to November, all the good releases already had come out, and all you had left for the remainder of the year was retread stuff. Luckily, that changed a few years ago, at least in metal, and with only 2.5 months left in the year, we still have a steamroller attack full of really good stuff, including the self-titled debut from Glacial Tombs.

That record officially arrives next Friday via Gilead Media, and it’s a destructive dose of death metal that is ugly, corrosive, and devastating. This debut full-length follows their 2017 EP “Cognitive Erosion” and a couple singles, including the scathing “Fuck Nazi Sympathy,” and it’s seven tracks of molten, noisy fury that add another heaving beast into death metal’s circles. Comprised of vocalist/bassist Connor Woods (Diseased Reason), guitarist/vocalist Ben Hutcherson (Khemmis), and drummer Michael Salazar (Cult of the Lost Cause), the band already has become a formidable live unit after only two years together, and this initial full-length effort should leave scrapes and bruises all over listeners’ bodies as they tangle with these tracks that show absolutely no mercy.

“Monolithes” starts the record with drums rolling into furious riffs, while the band chugs away and does quick bruising, as howled wails rampage over the chorus. This leads into brutal scrapes and vicious pounding, as the growls snarl, some techy guitar work shows up, and everything comes to a bludgeoning end. “Breath of Pestilence” trucks hard out of the gates, with black metal-style melodies bleeding, and vocals trade off as growls mix with shrieks. The band exacts a devastating crunch before slowing things down some, letting the leads glimmer over the smoke. Then the guitars light up again, harsh cries wound flesh, and everything bleeds its way into “Sunless Dawn” that is outright sludgy from the start. Barked vocals and melodic fire mix together, as the band cakes the walls with mud and then work on knocking them the fuck down. Later on, the track gets doomier, as crazed screams scramble brains, and the track comes to a vicious end.

“Witness” is dizzying when it starts before opening up and turning downright ugly. This is a nice mix of gruesome death and classic metal guitar work, as it gets monstrous and blistering, with growls slithering, and the track coming to a smashing end. “Flesh and Worship” pummels, with maniacal screams spilling out, mixing in with vicious shouts. Later on, some atmosphere rains down, but there’s no masking the hellacious intent of this cut. “Drowned” has guitars cascading before deep growls dig up mud. Melodies swirl, while the shouts have a hardcore feel, before the song starts trudging again. The playing gets menacing and bloodthirsty, as dual vocals shred, and the track echoes out. Closer “Shackled to the Burning Earth” begins slowly but heavily, pushing through the muck before the guitars ignite. The track has a different feel from what preceded it, as guitars ring out and burn your senses, and a proggy section works its way in, adding a brainy feel to such skullduggery. From there, the song gets violent and merciless again, ending the record on a blood-curdling note.

With nature decaying and the cold temperatures rolling in, it’s a great time to dive right into a molten, mean, nasty death metal record, and you’re hard pressed to find one this season quite as scathing as Glacial Tomb’s debut. It’s an impressive first record, a bruising introduction to what this trio does so well, and an absolute barnburner of an album. This is just the start for Glacial Tomb, and they’ve already unloaded with a bone-crushing haymaker of a shot that could knock you clear into the middle of the winter.

For more on the band, go here: https://www.facebook.com/glacialtomb

To buy the album, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/collections/pre-orders

For more on the label, go here: https://gileadmedia.net/