‘Buried in the Blacklands:’ the farewell show of Flooded Tomb in Austin, TX—a review
by Ryan A Vasquez
This was my first time at Kick Butt Coffee, so the aroma of pizza by-the-slice was a nice surprise. I thought the smell of coffee would overpower everything if anyone was still ordering it, but that was never the case all night.
Besides, I was already two Lone Star talls deep by the first 20 min of arriving so I wouldn’t have given a damn anyway if it did.
I should also mention the barstaff did a great job keeping the line movin’ cuz I was thirsty and so was everyone else that came through.
We had pizza, whiskey, beer and a well-known name in the Texas metal circuit about to take the stage for the last time.
She wore a silk black dress and the ends of her long hair were as red as the stage lights. I keep forgetting how subtle her voice really was when she had addressed the crowd real quick for an intro. I couldn’t tell if the rest of the ‘Tomb was in the zone or a bit upset the time was finally here.
They begin with “Lechers,” which has this Mastodon-like hard rock feel to it. I noticed the recorded versions of their older material had an old school thrash/OS hard-core feel to it, yet since the induction of vocalist Farmer (2020) an entirely new window of metal had opened and the proof was in the live version.
Guitarist and recorded vocalist Nathan Jones and K. Farmer had an interesting counter balance to each other with the vocal duties. Jones’ old-school hardcore yell delivery had the track originally lean one way but then Farmer put her signature growl gutterals in the mix and darkened it completely.
Because of this dynamic, Farmer’s vocals consequently reinvented all the original material to sound more doom, somewhat viking metal in some parts, modern deathly hardcore and OS death.
The ‘Tomb would continue to pound out their older material but with a heavier edge to it due to the new vocal dynamic.
For example, the third song in was “Buried in the Blacklands,” and instead of guitarist Jones taking the lead on vocals like the recorded version, Farmer takes over the first set of verses using her doomy gutteral approach, shifting the track to a more two-stepping hardcore intro with more muscle behind the riff before the original main groove.
Other tracks such as “Gaillardia Bloom,” “Polylith,” “Pay Attention,” and “White Boar” all had a much heavier delivery also because of the vocal shift.
It should be forever noted that this now retired Austin-made metal unit was an even better live act in the latter portion of their existence—post new vocalist—and gave us, the audience, such a powerful farewell performance to remember with “finale” conviction.
There was a quick moment during the midst of it all when vocalist K. Farmer was very humbled by the audience and shared her feelings about her entire experience with the ‘Tomb.
She explained how her time with this band had been the best time she ever experienced when it came to music and had never been happier. She thanked the band for letting her be the vocalist and wanted to celebrate the seven years of their existance in the circuit and their friendship.
The look on Farmer’s face when she performed the rest of the set convinced me she wasn’t just saying words, she was being absolutely genuine.
Some people will go through life never experiencing any kind of special happiness, so to see she was so compelled to declare her feelings like that told me she is not done performing. Not yet.
This night closed a chapter on a name to which I’m still in disbelief. It’s never any easy task to end a project that had seen so many audiences and left it’s impression in the Texas circuit.
Which ever direction any of these musicians take, something tells me they won’t ever forget the ‘Tomb. Hopefully they won’t forget the fans that streamed, merched up, banged their heads in the crowd and looked out for the next show.
Because if it ever happened again, we’ll be there.