This split comes from two Irish doom metal bands playing a hellish brand of thick heavy sludge. It features two great tracks, with Nomadic Rituals’ The Great Dying in particular being absolutely killer.
Tome’s track Bone Divinations is dense and plodding. Slow hypnotic riffs lumber along against dense bass while rhythmic drums pound away throughout the tracks’s length. The bass sound is massive, with earth shaking sound, and brilliant riffs throughout, slow and deliciously doomy. The guitars are simple, slow power-chord driven riffs, but there’s not enough variation over it’s length, which is really the only downside of the track. But with those howling screams, snappy drums and that unrelenting low end, it’s still a great track, and with a little more variation in the guitars Tome could be onto a killer sound.
Nomadic Rituals though is the whole package, this is seriously unsettling hellish fucking doom metal. From the moment the unsettling bass opens up the track with that insanely low frequency, The Great Dying is dark as fuck. With pounding industrial elements and guitar feedback alongside the aforementioned bass they build a strong sense of dread in the intro before the riffcraft starts. Nomadic Rituals’ heavy guitar sound is akin to Conan, but dragged down by misanthropy and despair and they create a sludgy, heavy sound that’s dark as fuck. Slow power chords driven riffs hammer their way across your skull amongst a thick poison-cloud of bass, and excellent drums. They’re slow, but each smash of the skins is brutally effective and incredibly heavy. The production is pure filth with that swampy sludgy sound, and the layers of ugly feedback in the “quiet sections” are abominably dirty sounding. The vocal approach is great too, going from deep and guttural grunts to tortured high pitched screams. The track builds excellently over the fourteen minutes, going from a slow dense intro to a pummelling stoner doom climax that Electric Wizard would be proud of. It’s heavy, well crafted and one of the best sludge pieces I’ve heard in a long while.
It’s a great split, with Nomadic Rituals’ uncompromising sludge being the better half with the way it bludgeons the listener into a pit of despair, but Tome’s pounding doom is engaging too with those excellent bass riffs. Recommended for fans of Conan, Fórn, Burning Witch and Electric Wizard.