TOME, Demo MMXXII (2012, demo)

The skull:
This is a pretty awesome drawing of a (black, as in evil and darkness) magician levitating a skull between his two hands, but it’s even cooler when you see the back of the cassette j-card, whereon is depicted the (presumably) same hands levitating the jaw missing from the skull on the cover, plus THREE TONGUES. It looks like something straight out of the AD&D Player’s Handbook (first edition, of course!) and I couldn’t be more pleased by it. I mean, this sorcerer is clearly even wearing some kind of flouncy robe with tattered cuffs. Save against magic (-3) or the Tome guy is totally gonna levitate your skull, too!

The music:
Maybe it’s just the cover that’s put me in a forgiving mood, but Tome’s sludgy funeral doom sounds pretty damned fine. The vibe here is utterly sinister — this is not doom for the stoner set — and although of course there’s not a lot of originality on display, Tome puts the formula to best use, cooking up a genuinely evil-sounding couple of tunes. If pressed for criticism, I’d have to say that there’s way too much ‘verb on the vocals (which would be better sung than growled, too), but otherwise, this is about as good as it gets for this style, and I’m curious to hear what the band comes up with next.
— Friar Johnsen

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