Providence, Rhode Island-based experimental/doom act TOVARISH prepares to release their harrowing new album, If The War Comes Tomorrow, through Argonauta Records next week. With the album’s release on the horizon, a new video for the single “The Year Without Summer,” which features guest vocals from Jamie Myers of Sabbath Assembly, has been premiered through Metal Temple.
Commemorating the band’s tenth anniversary this year, TOVARISH delivers their most engrossing, unsettling, and nihilistic work to date on If The War Comes Tomorrow, focusing on their established aesthetic and political themes on urgent, contemporary terrain. The band labored to produce an album that is as rewarding to long-term fans as it is inviting to newcomers. If The War Comes Tomorrow was recorded and mixed by Ivan at The Great Swamp, mastered by Bill Henderson at Azimuth Mastering, and completed with artwork and layout by Stephen Wilson. Jamie Myers (Sabbath Assembly) supplies guest vocals to the tracks “In The Language Of Firepower ” and “The Year Without Summer.”
The TOVARISH comrades offer, “As we incorporated more melodic elements into this new album, we knew we wanted to work with a guest vocalist who could write and perform melodic vocals based on our otherwise unconventionally structured songs. Jamie Myers turned out to be a perfect fit for us. She was able to take our instrumental mixes and write powerful vocal lines with great attention to nuances in the sound design. Aside from her incredible delivery, you’ll hear how her arrangement of lyrics and layers of backing vocals mirror and accentuate the ways other elements of the mix play out through space and time.”
See TOVARISH’s haunting “The Year Without Summer” video at Metal Temple RIGHT HERE.
With forty-eight minutes of cinematic devastation merging elements of doom metal, dark ambient, and more into the bleakest sounds for the end-of-days, fans of Khanate, Gnaw Their Tongues, Locrian, Nadja, Sutekh Hexen, and other harsh and visionary experimenters must explore If The War Comes Tomorrow.
Musically, If The War Comes Tomorrow presents TOVARISH’s greatest departure from their metal roots. Following the industrial-tinged This Terrible Burden (2015), the band began remixing for goth/industrial artists including Out Out, Seeming, and Snowbeasts. If The War Comes Tomorrow evidences the resulting cross-pollinations whereby TOVARISH’s typical mix of the martial and the chaotic now includes more brooding and ethereal elements. Nowhere is this more evident than on the two tracks featuring guest vocals from Jamie Myers (Sabbath Assembly), “In the Language of Firepower” and “The Year Without Summer.”
Throughout this new album, familiar components of found sound and field recordings are enhanced by techniques used for film and television production. The result is that each track is as much a scene as it is a song, presenting musical components in concert with cinematic diegeses. Rather than leaping through the speakers to assault listeners, this album draws them into compelling ambient compositions, situating them as subjects within a space containing them as well as the music.
In the decade-plus since TOVARISH was conceived, the context for their work changed considerably. Compared to similar-sounding artists of the decade passed, the band’s original conceit of swapping themes of Communism for Satanism was, admittedly, a peculiar, intercene polemic. Not Good vs. Evil, but People vs. Capital. Not Do-What-Thou-Wilt but Seize-the-Means-of-Production. Not religious, medieval fairy tales, but real, modern, political horrors. Today, history has caught up with us.
There was no way to anticipate the current relevancy of TOVARISH, nevertheless the present decay of global empires squares perfectly with our critical frame. If The War Comes Tomorrow is about presence and anticipation in an age of epochal transformations. Like Paul Klee’s Angelus Novus—as famously read by Walter Benjamin—we offer a new lens through which “to understand a humanity that proves itself by destruction.”