By Jonathan Smith
Despite being an overall disappointing collection, the latest EP from Southampton, UK, sludge/drone doom metal band Moss immediately gets points for two reasons. The first reason is that despite being an EP, Tomb of the Blind Drugged’s 40-minute run time means it does provide plenty of material for the appreciative listener for its value (three generously long tracks and a hidden fourth track that appears after the third track abruptly ends). The second reason is that both its horror-psychedelic cover art (hopefully and presumably hand-drawn) and its title are stylish plays on Amando de Ossorio’s 1971 “zombie Templar knights” classic Tomb of the Blind Dead. It is when Moss plays up this horror movie homage side that they are at their best on this outing. The title track is a shuffling corpse of a doom track that climaxes with the addition of an appropriately eerie organ (ripped from any number of classic horror films) that plays on after the distorted guitar and drums have been silenced. However, the same cannot be said for the rest of the EP. Without the nice little individual touches that differentiate a band from the competition that play a similar type of doom metal, things end up sounding unnecessarily lifeless. Olly Pearson’s unique gravelly vocals are presented in such a low-key and monotonous fashion that they end up barely making their mark. With only a guitar and drums to keep things going, the majority of the music ends up sounding thin, with a definite lack of the sorts of textures and “oomph” that this sort of minimalist but powerful approach to the sub-genre can provide. Despite its appealing horror dressings, Tomb of the Blind Drugged could use some more meat on its bones.