Ramesses - The Tomb - Invada Records 2005
Running Time: 32:40
Following last year's pummeling We Will Lead You To Glorious Times, England's Ramesses return to goad us further along the black path to glory with The Tomb. Not much has changed, thankfully, in the realm of Ramesses, one noteable exception being the presence of one Billy Anderson (Melvins, Blessing The Hogs, Everyone who's anyone in sludge) in the producer's chair, which gives the already harsh doom a quality of filth-ridden menace.
'The Tomb' sees Ramesses sticking to the formula that worked on We Will Lead... , latching onto a simple groove early on, then slowly (and I do mean s-l-o-w-l-y) building on that main riff until it's pounded into your skull in all it's mangled forms. It's a trip down rat-infested sewers in a boat made of lead and ash, using bones as oars. The words of Ramesses lie far from the Middle-Eastern philosophy of YOB, and farther still from the 70s-driven Witchcraft, Adam Richardson's lyrics ripping the stale air with repetitive snatches of dream that read closer to ritual chanting than words to a song. Droning background vocals intone "Pity you carry me through" as a counterpoint to the venomous delivery in much of 'Cult Of Cyclops', which finds the band slamming into the five-minute mark, constructing Purgatorial soundscapes from the most Neanderthal of riffs, much like Earth and direct descendants, sunn0))). Snippets of movie dialogue are interwoven with bestial snarls lead off 'Omniversal Horror', lending an air of impending doom (pun intended) to the black proceedings. And black they are, ragged guitars and abused drums joining the malicious vocals to create yet another hymn to depression. Up to this point, the music of Ramesses has taken the confrontational tone of Raging Speedhorn and Unearthly Trance, shot it full of elephant tranquilizers, and dragged its barely-conscious body through the wastelands of UK doom. In this case, however, Ramesses brings things to a close with a completely improvised 11-minute dronefest titled 'Unholy Outburst # 3'. Imagine Sleep's Holy Mountain trading punches with Iron Butterfly and you have some grasp of what's happening within.
With The Tomb, Ramesses goes a long way toward establishing itself as the doom band not to fuck with. Never has a doom ensemble so accurately (and possibly without trying) called to mind visions of Lovecraftian shadow and slack-jawed horror. In the words of 'Omniversal Horror'..."All rise Masters of Depression.".