Tombstones - Red Skies and Dead Eyes

Tombstones Red Skies and Dead Eyes cover
Red Skies and Dead Eyes
Soulseller Records
A great and impressive album from a pretty impressive band. Just as slow, heavy and dark as it needs to be, it captures the listener from the first minute and it hardly ever lets go. It’s a custom designed record for any sludge metal fan or anybody who likes Electric Wizard.
To be perfectly honest, I had never heard of them before this album fell into my lap. However, from the moment I pressed play and the dark and all-consuming guitar riff of “Black Moon” started - the opening song to the record - I was hooked. It was crystal clear that what we are dealing with here is a class-A-type band. Tombstones demand and earn the listener’s respect from the first second, by sounding the way a band that knows exactly what they're doing and how to do it right should sound, offering a rich sound that flows awesomely and fills the whole room. Slow and powerful, each of the tracks combine the backbone, the depth and the grandeur of Black Sabbath perfectly mixed with the more contemporary noise of modern sludge metal bands like Isis and even Boris.
The only minor drawback that I found throughout the whole album was the vocals. Personally, I like being able to understand what the hell the guy is singing about. Unfortunately, that wasn’t possible in “Red Skies and Dead Eyes”. It might have been that the volume of the lead vocalist’s microphone was a little too low, or the guy controlling the reverb levels had a bit of a heavy hand. The truth is that this sort of vocal recording is very common in sludge metal albums, so maybe I shouldn’t complain.
At this point, I should say that I’ve never been a big fun of this sort of music. I mean I don’t mind it at a live show (there have also been times when I kept on banging my head non-stop and having a blast at some of these shows), but I don’t think I’ve ever gone through an entire sludge album. Also, I always thought that Electric Wizard are, in the majority of their work, a bit too slow and a bit too boring. But there’s just something about “Red Skies and Dead Eyes” which made me want to lock myself in a dark room and blast it through my speakers to its entirety. 
As I said before, “Red Skies and Dead Eyes” got me hooked from dark and all-consuming guitar riff of “Black Moon” - the opening song to the record, but it was the second track that sealed the deal. “King of Daze” is a Black Sabbath inspired diamond with some of the most face melting guitar licks I’ve heard in a very long time. Right after that we move on to “Obstfelder”, the ten minute Alice In Chains meet Kyuss epic with a special kick reserved for the end. Right in the middle of the album we find the sweet musical nightmare straight out of Tony Iommi’s “Book of Revelations”. Second to last is “Red Skies and Dead Eyes”, which starts off with an intro that Soundgarden would have been proud of in their “Bad Motorfinger” days, and keeps getting gloomier and gloomier. Finally, there’s “Demon Cave” which sums up the record in the slow nerve-racking manner it deserves. And there u have it. Six powerfully dark tracks adding up to a 44’ heavy and gory rocking musical nightmare.
As you might have noticed, I didn’t single out any of the tracks there. This is because “Red Skies and Dead Eyes” is the sort of album that, in a way, forces you to listen to from beginning to end. And that, my friends, is the sign of a great album.