Tuesday 21 April 2020

REVIEW: Hazemage & Tombtoker, "Hazemage/Tombtoker"

By: Peter Morsellino

Album Type: Split
Date Released: 20/03/2020
Label:  Independent

“Haze Mage/Tombtoker” Split CD//DD track listing:

1). Haze Mage, “Sleepers”
2). Hazemage, “Pit Fighter”
3). Tombtoker, “Braise the Dead”
4). Tombtoker, “Botched Bastard”

The Review:

It seems there has often been some confusion when defining doom metal and sludge. And truthfully, I am often in that same boat.  What kind of music does Crowbar play?  Or Down?  I'm not talking about what it says on their wikipedia, but what do you hear when you listen?  I think there is a lot of overlap to what are essentially different sides of the same coin. What we have here today, folks, is an example of perfect musical duality.

With this masterfully done split from Haze Mage and Tombtoker, we're going to examine those different sides, and explore the overlap. I think we'll find that these bands, whatever you want to call them, go great together.

Haze Mage kick off the split with “Sleepers” and some solid 70's inspired jamming. The track rocks organically without needing to force their musical aesthetic on the listener. The dual guitar leads create an amazing effect that brings to mind those glory days of 70's hard rock.  Pit Fighter” is a very different sound with a driving, rolling beat. This one will make you want to move for sure. The guitar solo with its creepy minor key tones brings a smile to my face everytime I hear it.

Tombtoker on the other hand, start things off with a bang.  Braise the Dead” is a great opener, with its hypnotic and groovy riffs. Drum work is amazing in its variations while holding a steady beat that's as heavy as anything you'll hear today. Vocals lie comfortably in the death metal range, which compliments the fuzzy stoner sludge sound perfectly.  Botched Bastard” keeps things going with some old school style riffing. This one maintains a pretty slower pace, keeping up with the heaviness we've come to expect.  The bass is allowed a little more of the spotlight, which for me personally, is a huge thumbs up.

Overall these bands both bring it hard here. With very different sounds showcased on each half of the split, this one offers a whole lot of bang for your buck. Whether you're looking for some earth rattling sludge or some fantastical classic fuzz, you'll find it here. Thumbs up from me for sure.

“Hazemage/Tomstoker” is available HERE

Band info: Hazemage || TOMBTOKER