Twisting black metal and death metal into something that is wholly terrifying is Tombstalker, and dragging behind them from the bowels of hell is their debut full length Black Crusades. Black Crusades is a devastating piece of work, one that is meant to rip your heart out and feast upon it and crush your soul into oblivion. Tombstalker live up to the menacing name and provide you with completely menacing and damning music. Each song is pure chaos and that is what Tombstalker seems to thrive off of. Black Crusades is a sinister bubbling cauldron of hate and Tombstalker make that very well known.
As filthy as Tombstalker could make this record they did and they never stopped at one single layer of filth as they kept piling it on thick until it is almost suffocating. Black Crusades is disgusting and completely barbaric and doesn’t stop until your carcass has been shredded and thrown into a ebullient pit of hell fire. From note one Tombstalker has their foot pressed against your throat and they never let up for one second.
One song after the next you get pummeled with the utmost intensity. Black Crusades barrels straight through you leaving you eviscerated and to be damned to the netherworld for eternity. When listening you can’t help but feel as though you are in some sort of nightmare, as though you are trapped within your own crypt and can’t seem to find a way out. Without being wholly atmospheric, Tombstalker shroud you in abyssal darkness and make you feel sordid and evil.
With a menagerie of genres at work all throughout this release including death metal, black metal and hardcore Tombstalker makes it all work. There isn’t a genre within this release that gets lost in the mix somehow. Each genre mixes incredibly well together to create the pure chaos that sits before you. And if they wanted to bludgeon and rip the guts of each listener Tombstalker could not have picked any better genres. All three (that are noted at least) are chaotic in their own right and add a little more intensity and bombast to the record.
Sharp riffs hit you like a hatchet as thunderous drums rain down upon you and thick bass lines lacerate you from all sides as hellish roars and screams bellow from the vocalist. As heavy as you dreamed of something being, you got it all right here with Tombstalker. They are ghoulish, heavy, sinister and purely evil. The entire album cuts you right in two and sends you to an early grave. However, with all of the heaviness that Tombstalker displays they are very melodic and each song is very memorable.
Black Crusades is monstrous album. It is unrelenting and incredibly vicious and packed with as much metal as you can handle. As far as debut albums go, you really can’t get much better than this.