posted on 8/2010 By:
As much as I enjoy challenging, artistic and progressive music like the new Enslaved, Decrepit Birth or Aiumeen Basoa and being absorbed in musical hues, juxtapositions, layers and creativity, sometimes I just want to get kicked in the face and punched in the balls. A lot like my sex life. Enter Finland’s Tormenticon who play a style of old school mid-paced death metal that has one foot in the classic Stockholm style (notably Grave), one foot in Finish doom and one foot in Jungle Rot / Six Feet Under chugging simplicity. I know that’s three feet, but math was never my strong point.
With a mere 7 songs written from 2002 to 2009, Tormenticon’s sound is rooted in deep chugging riffs littered with some doomy, haunting strains and foreboding, scrawling solos. Nothing triggered or clicky, no breakdowns and virtually no blast beats. The tracks rumble like Bolt Thrower’s tank-paced assault (just listen to “Bestial Truth”) and hit with a brooding, blunt force trauma without forcing heaviness for the sake of heaviness. The songs are well-constructed and patient, with a beefy old-school production and gravelly, deep old-school vocals. (Chris Barnes is a starting point.) And while there’s hardly an original note here, it’s sure to bring a grin to the faces of old-school death metal fans like myself.
Opener “Unlight Earth” could have come from a Gorement or God Macabre album, while “You Suffer” chugs with a more simple, direct and steady double bass gait reminiscent of non-sucky Six Feet Under. Both “Mask of Sanity” and “Smell of Death” delve more into moody, scrawling doom-tinged territory that’s more pure early-90s unsigned Stockholm-type stuff. “Bestial Truth” and “Throw Them to the Grave” (with a few main riffs familiar to Stockholm fans) return to simple lopes and mid-paced churning that simply satisfies without being taxing.
When the album’s longest cut, “Living Corpse”, closes the album with more Six Feet Under-ish rumblings, you realize Tormenticon isn’t really offering anything too exciting or really ‘must have’ -- like the new Entrails, for example -- but for death metal relics like me there’s a certain simple satisfaction lurking in this album's 30-minute, nostalgic throes that’s a nice break from deathcore and ambient black metal.
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