T.O.M.B. – Third Wave Holocaust

At first we were stoked that another label was doing something like this, but it turns out Malignant Records pulled a fast one on us, because Black Plagve productions is actually a sister label, maybe sublabel if you prefer, with more of a focus on death industrial, noise, and power electronics instead of the dark ambient he releases.  Praise be to darkness, for this cover tells all, knows all, it is all, all that is T.O.M.B., an acronym standing for Total Occultic Mechanical Blasphemy.  This type of music is usually so far below the surface only a select few of us know it exists, worshipping it with more fervency than a doomsday cult.  But T.O.M.B. has gotten the scent of blood from the masses, flittering about in the wind as their veins spray in ritualistic ecstasy, since not too long ago they played live with Watain, which brings their music to an entirely different type of audience.  It’s great to see genres melding together for a show, because separately things can get too cliche.  Enjoying something like this, when it wouldn’t normally be what you’d listen to as a metal snob, gives us hope for the future end of humanity.  Spread it, spread the blasphemy, spread the destruction.  Would you believe this album somehow also works out rather well for some leg day at the gym?  Not sure how that was even possible, but this reviewer has totally tried it.  Perhaps it’s the imagery, the fusing of organic with machine.


Imagery, you say.  Why yes.  See that young lady on yonder cover reaching out for something to grasp onto?  She’s trying to save her own life from the overwhelming power of this album as it begins surrounding her.  That’s you, in the middle there.  Symbolic.  Reach all you want, however, for there is no escape for you.  Once you’re in Third Wave Holocaust, you cannot leave until the ritual has been completed.  T.O.M.B. play dark, ritualistic death industrial with some heavy focus on power electronics, and they do it right.  What we have going on here is an excellent combination of theme and sound.  It’s simple, combine man with machine, leaving the power and metal lifelessness of the latter, and combine it with the brooding, thanatotic energy of the former.  Third Wave Holocaust functions like an abandoned factory turned into a sacrificial altar to all things destructive.  Make a religion out of that, get a bunch of followers, and this is what it should sound like.  T.O.M.B. dominates.  T.O.M.B. descerates.  T.O.M.B. annihilates.  T.O.M.B. combines the mechanical with the organic for something truly horrifying.  The theme of man and machine is as old as science fiction, but only in recent years have we seen this tendency with industrial to go further with it, beyond the ridiculous pseudo-Goth who dances to pathetic drops, further onward into something more foreboding and accurate.  Beat?  Tempo?  Ha.  Such things are only for those who wish to stay alive.


Third Wave Holocaust is about ending all life through beings of sound.  It opens with a dreadful entity called “Antagonizing the Unknown”, as a droning wave is touched off with sharp, metallic rings and a mechanical voice speaks unrecognizable phrases.  Slowly, this horrible energy builds with inhuman moaning that becomes screaming, sounding something like a dying android on life-support.  Imagine that thing entering a tortuous purgatory with various trials towards final rest in the underworld, and you have the rest of the album.  T.O.M.B. does an incredible job keeping your attention with variety, each track having a different flow and feel.  Some devastate, others are content in quiet noise ritual, while others mix these approaches.  To utilize power electronics with any level of uniqueness is difficult today, but these guys do a fine job, especially that last track.  The only real complaint is that their style becomes exhausting a little over halfway through Third Wave Holocaust.  By the time you reach that point, your body has already been reduced to ashes, so it’s almost overkill to go any further, but further they go, stomping your remaining crumbs into nano particles.  It has a great sense of space, but it seems like it gets stuck, unaware that it has already gone past the limit necessary to ruin your existence.  After our body has been sufficiently sacrificed to the electric deities, we’d prefer you then lead our remaining spiritual presence into nothingness, if you don’t mind.  Third Wave Holocaust takes your pitiful organic form and ruins it entirely, but it doesn’t seem to recognize when it’s had enough, something like a knife-wielding murder who’s stabbed a victim into a puddle and eventually starts to penetrate the floor with their blade.  But don’t let our joking fool you, great listen.


T.O.M.B. Official Facebook

Written by Stanley Stepanic

T.O.M.B. – Third Wave Holocaust
Black Plagve Productions
4 / 5