West of Everything Lies Death
Not exactly lacking direction
dB Rating: 8/10
Release Date: February 2016
Label: Hammerheart Records
Taphos Nomos specialize in those protodeath metal riffs that sound time-stamped to 1989. The kind crafted by an unknown South American underground act that no one has ever heard of. The kind that makes old-school DM heads freak out. Yet, equally entrenched in all of that dead and rotting squalor are doom riffs laced with equal parts melody and despair; among all the carrion lies some pleasantly clarion guitar harmonies that vibe Horrendous or Carcass.
Some guesstimation leads us to believe the band (whose bio mysteriously doesn’t reveal a home base) may be from western Pennsylvania, but we do know that an unidentified Decibel contributor is involved. The space-time continuum question of where is irrelevant, though. These timeless badass tunes touch upon the ancient and the modern; the subterranean and the arcane. And anyway, said tunes were surely constructed in an out-of-mind/body state assisted by high volume and, well, just being really fucking high.
Four songs over 31 minutes gut-punch you with plenty of turbo sludge and grind growls, but just as often, shit does get weird and slow in an Autopsy or Asphyxlike crawl. Also notable are the frequently morphing, powerfully belted vocals: “Swallowed in Boiling Kaolinite” has a rad gothy breakdown, with baritone Type O Negative-like clean singing. Musically, it evokes the tastier artful moments of Into the Pandemonium, or old My Dying Bride. A damn impressive debut, which, peeling back the many layers, reveals more smarts and atmosphere on every listen.
Review originally printed in the February 2016 issue.