Abstractor: Tomb Of Feathers

Heavyweight sludge sojourns that go with the flow

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It’s a reasonable reaction, when confronted with an album spreading its 40-minute conceptual load over the course of a song or three, to experience the cringing of your sensory faculties and your ears running screaming for the hills. Given sludge/doom metal’s oft-unilateral homogeneity, a collection of three 10-minute-plus songs might be enough to have you curling up in the foetal position until someone throws on some Agnostic Front.

Well, with Tomb Of Feathers, Oakland’s Abstractor illustrate the ability to make slow, sludgy, pitch-black burning fly by. Granted, the quartet aren’t a strict one-trick pony show. They infuse their tectonic, Neur-Isis guitar tone, gravelly vocal bellow and thunderous drumming with an industrial frigidity somewhere between Godflesh and second-wave Norwegian black metal in To Vomit Crows.

Meanwhile, an engaging mixture of Killing Joke-ish post-punk, ethereal indie chord selections and 90s East Bay crusty punk drives epic closer Ash. The most impressive triumph here is Abstractor’s diversity and how their lengthy compositions keep the kinetic energy going and the songs flowing so there’s never a dull moment.