Tombstoned: II

Finnish doom crew find new realms of darkness to explore

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Aiming to mirror the harsh times we’re living in and to push the boundaries of the doom genre, Tombstoned’s second record, which they’ve handily dubbed II, is a bewitching slab of Black-Sabbath-meets-Echo-And-The-Bunnymen goodness.

Recorded with vintage gear and on reel-to-reel tape, it’s a more focused affair than their critically acclaimed eponymous 2013 debut. It doesn’t try to dazzle the listener with too many ideas, preferring to rely on its strengths: head-crushing riffs and gorgeous, gloomy melodies.

Singer/guitarist Jussi’s vocals are spellbinding throughout and his style, which recalls Ian McCulloch and Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy in their pomp, peppers proceedings with a post-punk and goth flavour.

Opener Pretending To Live kicks things off strongly and is built around a monstrous main riff and eerie melodies, while the space rock-informed freak-out, Haven’t We Seen All This Before, the perverted flower pop of Remedies and the wah-wah pedal-driven, potentially mainstream-threatening Brainwashed Since Birth ensure this is a stone cold classic.