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Tombstalker - Black Crusades

Black Crusades
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 29 June 2016, 2:30 PM

TOMBSTALKER is a Thrash/Death Metal band based out of Lexington, Kentucky, USA. Formed in 2008, the band had done some previous demos and an EP. This is the first full-length album, and contains eight tracks. “Forlorn Recollections” is a nice, tone-setting intro, with the squeaks of acoustic guitar notes and mostly minor keys. It foreshadows the deep fury that ensues with “Chaos Undivided.” A short exploding bomb leads the assault. It has a Thrash/Death base from the low riffing but the vocals are undoubtedly Death Metal in nature. Low, menacing growls provide the direction, and the reverb in them adds some fullness to the sound as well. Though “Bloodthirster” is a bit longer, the meter is similar, as is the use of the low E chord for the main riff. In fact they really squash it. There are some variations in riffing but it sticks pretty hard in that aforementioned realm.

“Fate Weaver” solidifies the propensity for pure horror in their music. The opening sequence involves spoken and tortured words that quickly roll into the fast paced, deep and dark song. The song title is sung in drawn out tones for accent. The title track, “Black Crusades,” is eight minutes in length. This allows for some additional exploration, and more harmony comes into play. The brutality is really on full display here as well. Just before the five minute mark they slow down and launch into an extended instrumental section. “Soul Eater” is another strong and evil song with plenty of bombast. You can literally feel any goodness in your soul being sucked away as you scream in anguish. “Plague Father” is interesting. I love the tone setting intro with the swarming bees and Raven crows. It oozes all things unclean and the pestilence of man. This is another song that has deep crevices and a seemingly bottomless hole with direct access to Hades.

“Chaos Enthroned” is the eight minute closing song. There is a lot of sonic bombast in this track, both in the vocals and instruments. It’s a journey of sorts as well, as it shifts focus here and there and circles back around to previous riffs. Overall I enjoyed the album. The musicianship is strong and with the production they have created a very big and dark sound. I think they could have pushed some boundaries a little more and still stayed within their vision, but taken as is I would recommend this album to fans of the genre.

Songwriting: 7
Originality: 7
Memorability: 7
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. Forlorn Recollections
2. Chaos Undivided
3. Blood Thirster
4. Fate Weaver
5. Black Crusades
6. Soul Eater
7. Plague Father
8. Chaos Enthroned
Defiler – Bass
Conqueror Horus – Guitars, Vocals
Basilisk – Drums 
Record Label: Shadow Kingdom Records


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Edited 28 January 2023

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