Hailing from Brisbane, Resin Tomb offer a sound that draws from death and black metal as well as grind, employing heavy use of dissonance. This self-titled EP is their first release, with a line-up consisting of Matthew Budge on vocals, Perry Vedelago on drums and Brendan Auld on guitars.
Opener Abrogate kicks things off with an ominous atmosphere, before ripping into some furious death/grind. Budge’s vocals soon take centre stage amid the cacophony of dissonant guitars and blasting drums. A short introductory track, but nothing less than a powerful statement of intent.
Penance picks right up where Abrogate left off. The dissonant riffs and chords provide a bed for both the pained vocals and relentless drums. One thing that’s already apparently is the skill with which Resin Tomb elicit changes of tempo. They’re able to shift from grindcore tempos to crushing mid-paced death metal at the drop of a hat and the track honestly works all the better for it. There’s some interesting vocal interplay here that really demonstrates Budge’s versatility while keeping things fresh.
Surfacing places a temporary hold on proceedings as some atmospheric guitar work takes centre stage before the rest of the band comes blasting in. This builds into quite a punishing track; showing just how much thought Resin Tomb must have put into crafting these tracks. The guitar work of Auld is the focus throughout as his dissonant and catchy riffing weaves and folds the structure around it.
Penultimate track Prostrated is another short one, however it’s no less as punishing than those that came before it. The skilful drumming of Vedelago is a clear highlight here. The track serves its purpose but I can’t help but feel that its chaotic structure would benefit from some more twists and turns.
Resin Tomb’s ultimate track Bestial feels like a culmination of all that we’ve witnessed so far. It’s no less dissonant but there’s more of a raging black metal influence underpinning the elements here. As the EP’s longest track it naturally allows each band member to stretch out and really display their talents. Bestial has a lot of variation in it (including some excellent bass) that it perhaps best represents what Resin Tomb are capable of. Another track at a similar length wouldn’t have gone astray, but it’s otherwise a fine way to leave things.
Resin Tomb’s self-titled debut is a worthwhile release, but one of juxtapositions. It shows that they’re equally skilled at creating short tracks that just go for the throat as well as longer tracks that see them unwind and really take the listener on a journey, while being no less punishing. It’s the longer tracks, however, that make me wonder what exactly Resin Tomb would be capable of on a full-length album. Ultimately, Resin Tomb marks a fine debut; but a debut that almost teases the listener with where they’d go next.