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Negative Vortex > Tomb Absolute > Reviews
Negative Vortex - Tomb Absolute

Tomb Of The Inflated - 65%

Sweetie, May 24th, 2023

Negative Vortex are a death metal act that sprang up in the U.S. nearly a decade ago, first making an appearance with an EP before hibernating until now. The doom-cladded outfit would spend many years cooking up what would become a first full-length in the form of Tomb Absolute. It certainly cements everything that was hinted at back in the mid 2010s, taking that format to a higher scope. Well that, and treating this with all kinds of production help.

Because of this, Negative Vortex curates what I call a very huge sound in a sense that pulls forth blistering drum blasts that are as in-your-face as the mega-saturated guitar riffing. Beside that are a helping of vocals that come up just as high, presented with a gurgling growl that manages to take any overly-filthy edges off thanks to such a clear production. Under this wide umbrella falls a combination of song structures that move from explosive, unrelenting speeds with all of this in the foreground to the earlier architecture of slow, rumbling doom/death. The two work together better than I would have pictured, mostly because of the tremolos and wailing leads that mesh both together, and I can’t pretend the bass doesn’t help out. “Cicuta” really masters that technique in the song’s outing.

As great as all of this sounds, unfortunately such strong feats are presented in a way that’s very overwhelming just due to the fact that none of these parts really get to shine in their own right, and feel like they’re constantly competing. Moreover, the aforementioned gurgly vocal style doesn’t mesh well with such a clean production. In fact, said production is probably part of why this can feel like so much at once, and the fifty-four minute runtime really doesn’t assist in that realm. In other words, the parts themselves are masterful, but the presentation of them together leave not more to be desired, but honestly, less.

Tomb Absolute is definitely a worthwhile enough spin to check out for those that like the bigger sounds of the death metal genre, especially if a side of doom is desired. Clearly a lot of time went into this, and every band member knows their trade very well. They would benefit, however, from trading-off the forefront and toning down the studio-aided gradient. Cutting back a few tracks could do wonders, as well. At the end of the day, the songs move through with some serious potential, and nothing stands out as what I’d call bad. Much of this is personal preference, and I’d still suggest seeing for yourself.

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