Tombs have announced that their new album “Under Sullen Skies“ will be released on November 20. You can find the cover art and track listing for that effort below:
“Under Sullen Skies” Track Listing:
01. “Bone Furnace”
02. “Void Constellation” (feat. Andy Thomas of Black Crown Initiate)
03. “Barren” (feat. Ray Suhy of Six Feet Under)
04. “The Hunger” (feat. Dwid Hellion of Integrity)
05. “Secrets Of The Black Sun” (feat. Sera Timms of Ides Of Gemini, etc.)
07. “We Move Like Phantoms”
08. “Mordum” (feat. Todd Stern of Psycroptic)
09. “Lex Talionis”
10. “Angel Of Darkness” (feat. Paul Delaney of Black Anvil and Cat Cabral)
11. “Sombre Ruin”
12. “Plague Years”
Mike Hill said the following about the record’s title:
“The album’s title came during all this and the sort of post-apocalyptic world we’re living in. It encapsulates an overall feeling of gloom and depression which is pretty much how we’ve been living for most of this year.
The title was the last piece to fall into place. I remember standing on the roof of the building I was living in at the time on a grey day and it was raining – actually, it wasn’t even raining; it was a half-assed attempt at rain! – and depressing and I just thought, ‘What a sullen sky’ and it just stuck with me.”
He also had the following to say about the various guests on the album:
“There’s Cat Cabral, who does the spoken word piece on ‘Angel of Darkness.’ She’s not a musician per se; she’s more from the occult and witchcraft world. I’ve been friends with her for a really long time and she’s a great resource for esoteric knowledge.
She’s also an actress who has done plays and commercials and been in films, so I figured she’d be the perfect person to deliver dialogue in an emotionally deep way, and be good at taking direction.
Ray Suhy from Six Feet Under rips the guitar solo in ‘Barren’ and that solo is its own masterpiece, in my opinion. Black Crown Initiate and former Tombs live guitarist Andy Thomas contributed a guitar solo in ‘Void Constellation.’
Todd Stern from Psycroptic plays the solo in ‘Mortem.’ Sera Timms from Ides Of Gemini and Black Math Horseman does guest vocals on ‘Secrets Of The Black Sun.’
We’ve got Integrity’s Dwid Hellion singing the chorus on ‘The Hunger’ and Black Anvil’s Paul Delaney also doing a couple of verses on ‘Angel Of Darkness.’ So, yeah, there are a bunch of people on there and it’s like a community effort which I enjoy. I like involving people I respect and having them be a part of the whole thing.”
Hill also added the following about the lyrical themes:
“I explore a lot of the archetypes that are used in folklore on this record, like werewolves and vampires which I’ve always been interested in, and on a song like ‘Secrets Of The Black Sun’ I talk about the finite nature of our time on this planet, that nothing is really permanent and being aware of that whether as an individual or as a civilization, which I guess fits in with the pandemic and the changes that are going on.
There are all kinds of other people, civilizations and creatures that have come and gone long before us and if you think about it over a long enough time span, everyone’s life expectancy goes down to zero.”
“‘Under Sullen Skies‘ is a dark and introspective album. It’s not a happy record that anyone is going to use to get pumped up on a Friday night. We wanted to pull out the stops, go full-on and make a nice body of work. I could care less if anyone likes the band or not because I’ve been through so many ups and downs with this thing that I don’t give a fuck if people enjoy the music.
I know I like it, I know the guys in the band like it and we’re just rocking and rolling. This record and the EP came out about as close as I could imagine to what I have in my brain about how this band should sound. The whole trajectory of the band has had each record never quite hitting, but ‘Monarchy Of Shadows‘ and ‘Under Sullen Skies‘ have both really come out how I envisioned the songs to be.”
The album’s first single, “Barren,” can be found below. Hill said the following about that track:
“‘Barren‘ stands out as the song that’s most collaborative. Justin wrote the bulk of the riffs on that one, that sort of NWOBHM/Scorpions ending part is something I came up with, Matt added a bunch of guitar harmonies over it and Drew’s bass is laid thick underneath. That one is one of the biggest group efforts and one of the strongest songs on the record.”