Edmonton, Canada's Tales of the Tomb may not have been around long, but have accomplished quite a bit even in just the last year. The death metal oriented group have played a little more than a dozen live shows, and wasted no time recording a slew of demo material, the first being the Snowtown Demo back in September of 2014. However, for their debut EP Volume One: Morpras, which will see release later in November of this year, the group recorded at Hillbilly Wizard Sound, but enlisted the mastering skills of none other than Dawn Swano at Unisound. But is it one that will be warmly embraced by those looking for something new to sink their teeth into, or is it just a mild experience that doesn't speak kindly of it's five headed master?

Volume One: Morpras shows off some heavy Deceased input across three somewhat varied performances. "Snowtown" is a slower paced cut that has more of an epic norse tone along the line of Amon Amarth or even Borknagar. The brooding, melancholic overtones throughout, enhanced by the sombre passage with clean singing about two minutes in, takes its time for such a short offering, but manages to accomplish so much given how it smoothly marches forward. This same tone is present during "Dr. Death", but with enough going on to keep it from being repetitive to "Snowtown" in many ways. The layered mixture of rasps over background gutturals add an extra level of punishment, all leading to the rather grim climax after the guitars that fade in and out slightly, an interesting touch that seems to play up the concept of a descent without forcing it into the environment unnaturally.

But then there's "The Pig Farmer" and it's awkward harsher vocal start that seems to represent the animal in its title. The chaotic pacing and structure is reminiscent of Deicide's "Fuck Your God" much of the time thank to the similar chords that crawl along the neck of the guitar. The bass, however, is what really drives this cold and calculated cut forward, leaving behind little room for the listener to even breathe until the last thirty seconds when we're greeted with that melodic remorse once more. Sadly, this closing feels tacked on to an otherwise superbly punishing assault that would have better been left as that, void of ending on a depressing note.

Tales of the Tomb take advantage of the three song limitation they imposed for this EP. While "Snowtown" and "Dr. Death" still share some vague similarities in speed and atmosphere, leaving you wishing they had done something a little more unique to show their range as a group on the final track instead of revisiting what they introduced us to at the very start, each of these cuts show a well matured group with plenty of potential in regards to playing on the listener's emotions. Between aggression and mourning, Volume One: Morpras stands as a melodic treat fans of cold sounding death metal, melodic or otherwise, will definitely get a kick out of.

Review originally posted at Apoch's Metal Review.