Tome – Nemesis – EP Review
Always interesting to me, is the synchronicity of music & life…how it all comes together so clearly at times… No sooner had I just put down the phone from having a conversation with Tyler Mayfield, lead singer for Vancouver band Lung Flower about their own heavy-rock sound, when I shortly after pushed play into a very similar sound being made from across the globe in Switzerland from the band Tome. Mind you – that similar sound comes through the music only; Tome is completely without vocals, making an intense brooding instrumental-rock that certainly shows depth and some extremely vibrant & strong songwriting.
For the most part – this entire Nemesis EP is completely written, arranged, performed, programmed, recorded & produced by the brainchild behind the music of Tome, Ian S. Cophin. With the exception of the merciless pounding drums provided by Beta Monkey, a poem written by Charles C on “Dark Conspiracy,” as well as some superb guitar work from Roberto Diana featured on “Edge Of The Void,” and “Dark Conspiracy” – everything else you could possibly hear on this enormous sounding EP has come from Cophin direct.
Starting with “Edge Of The Void (Intro)” is extremely cool way to open a new record. Guitar-meets-synth in this delicate track…the melodic calm before the raging storm to come; but in many ways, this track also stands out as one of the most unique and apart from the other four making up the Nemesis EP. At less than two minutes – it’s also the only track on this disc you probably couldn’t finish an entire meal while listening to…the rest all hover around the six minute mark.
That storm comes through the moment track one stops and “The Wayfarer” kicks in. Rhythmic, heavy, distorted…this track accomplishes a lot over these six minutes. What starts with a melodic-metal riff-fest….man, what can I tell you guys….this becomes so much MORE by the end of this sonic journey. Right around the four minute mark, this track just starts to open up and wind down these crazy musical avenues…just excellent guitar-work here…all leading back to that incredibly driving, melodic riff played at twice the intensity right to the end.
I can definitely appreciate the atmospheric textures that Cophin creates. “Dark Conspiracy,” plays out nearly like a alt-blues-rock experiment at times before accelerating into the earth-shattering crescendos. Haunting poetry added, as mentioned before; and an absolutely killer switch with less than a minute to go with Roberto Diana lighting up the guitar on an immaculate solo right to the end – while it all may sound dark, dirty and dank, there’s also no denying the extreme talent in creating an entire world of sonic density. The constant add of melody throughout the music gives it a thin veil of hope no matter how desolate or despairing the sound that any track might find itself in. What’s pulled off in this track, and the track to follow, “Anathema” are true trips into the very musical mind’s eye of Cophin. Heavy grooves, complex rhythms and timing structures…there’s an extraordinary effort here being pulled off sounding effortless.
“The Last Stand,” a track that reminds me much of some of my favorite heavy-rock work in bands like Quicksand and Failure…this is one huge track. Big, BIG fan of the guitar-work & bass together on this one – they play off each other perfectly, finding their way into the open space each time seamlessly. In a couple ways, it would be the most accessible track on the Tome EP with a heavier lean towards the melody & a somewhat-more traditional song-structure.
No one panic. Nemesis didn’t ‘sell-out’ at the end…I said SOMEWHAT…
Overall, it’s an excellent EP and really keeps an ear listening through some wickedly dark & diverse sounds. It’s impossible not to notice but also not to feel the true weight of these songs; the balance between the dark & melodic, the contrast between the brightness of hope & the dirt of the earth. The Nemesis EP from Tome is certainly worth a couple spins in your player with its full set of five heavy-grooves all completely tying into each other and twisting into one incredibly enjoyable, dark & mysterious listening experience.
Check Tome’s Nemesis EP out right here: https://tomemusic.bandcamp.com/releases
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