ALBUM REVIEW: Tomb Of Finland – Across The Barren Fields


Without hampering the quality of the record, Tomb Of Finland pile layer upon layer and meticulously interspersed elements of doom, black metal and good ol’ death metal on the quartet’s third full-length, Across The Barren Fields (Uprising! Records).

At the basic level, it’s a similar undertaking to 2018’s Frozen Beneath in that it features biting vocals, a similar pacing and subtle complexities that can coexist in a way that isn’t detrimental.

Olli Saakeli Suvanto is large-throated, dystopian, bile-spewing… the vocals kickstarting a brooding affair that doesn’t rely on playing as frenetic as humanly possible. Instead, the tracks are calculated and purposeful. Within Across The Barren Fields, one will find dirgey slogs just as likely as bombast, sometimes even in the same song.

The doomier elements are most apparent on ‘Coffin Bound’ where the team of Jasse von Hast and Mikko Hannuksela combine for a sluggish riff that is simultaneously a stampeding animal. The two guitars devolve into haunting sounds in the introduction to ‘Curse By The One,’ and is aided by fuzzy girth and a prominent bass presence, courtesy of Ville Kangasharju.

For the heavier-inclined, ‘Wretched Bliss’ and ‘The Gallows’ has you covered. The former preys on its victims with scintillating black-metal screams that metamorphose into domineering shrieks. The latter finds Suvanto mangled yet passionate in their wails, and the song even ends with footsteps crunching on rough terrain followed by distant bells tolling. Janne Lukki pummels the kit into submission on ‘Perpetual Entombment,’ which in turn fuels a faster composition.

Across The Barren Fields isn’t a world-changer; rather, elements of various subgenres coalesce in the Finns’ typical style of muddied morass and calamitous chugging as Tomb Of Finland (because Sarcophagus Of Suomi apparently doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily) continue their multi-faceted onslaught while retaining complexities that work in tandem from start to finish.

Buy the album here:

7 / 10