Tons – Hashension

Over the years, it has been my observation that more than a few people would make the opinion that the very state of sludge metal is something that is quite dire. It’s not lacking in numbers by any means, but the argument made is that the quality has become lacking over the years with truly thick and nasty creations becoming fewer and further between even as other styles in extreme metal find themselves overflowing with talent and innovation. I, however, viciously disagree that the state of sludge is on the decline. Much like any sort of quality in the world of metal, one simply needs to look for it, and even though sludge isn’t nearly as bountiful as death or black metal, there is always something to be said for the thrill of the hunt. For it’s when you come across something special that you truly do feel rewarded for the search itself, and that couldn’t be any more true when I came upon Tons tonight.

Those who know where to look in the world of sludge will already be familiar with the name of Tons with their split with the almighty Bongzilla a definite highlight in their career of passing to the left, yet that is but a stepping stone in their career. With its third full-length album, Tons truly does feel to be coming into its own in a manner that is supremely compelling, hypnotic in its reefage, and visceral in its crunchiness. Stoner influences are far from uncommon in anything related to the worlds of rock, doom metal, or sludge anymore with many taking it too far, but it’s with all six tracks of “Hashension” that Tons manages to go full in on preaching the reef without dropping the ball for so much as a second, and it’s just as satisfyingly heavy as one could hope for. Calculated patience permeates the very whole of this album with the spaced-out riffage the very definition of unyielding as smoke pours from the very instruments that Tons wields with undeniable talent, it’s every given moment of “Hashension” that should keep one planted firmly in their seat as the eyes turn red and the album truly does seem to get more and more vicious as it goes on. It makes for the kind of powerful stoner metal with a sludge approach that makes one wonder how it isn’t more rampant throughout the scene, but then you realize that even if efforts like this are rare then that makes the reality of bands like Tons and albums like “Hashension” feel all the more special for what they manage to bring to the table in no less than delicious fashion.

This is what it means to realize that the very state of sludge metal is still in very capable hands. Those who find themselves arguing the opposite are likely clinging to the deepest roots of the sound without giving up so much as an inch to newer names that are pushing the sound forward, but it’s with bands like Tons that we’re able to bear witness to what the future of the sound looks like with swathes of it surely going up in smoke in the best way possible. Without compromisation or shred of ashamedness, it’s the very whole of “Hashension” that is not to be denied or trifled with as the band’s reputation and talent is only further with the mastery on display here.

“Hashension” releases on October 7th via Heavy Psych Sounds!

LISTEN to advanced tracks from “Hashension” on Bandcamp here.

LIKE Tons on Facebook here.

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