Posts Tagged ‘Tormention’

Death metal has been particularly healthy this year in the world of the Killchain. I’ve heard some storming releases, and to whittle it down to only ten seems unfair to the many great records I heard this year. I’m genuinely sorry to anyone I’ve reviewed that hasn’t made it in, because I’ve been totally into almost everything I’ve been sent! But it has to be done, and this is it!

10. Tormention – Chaotic Delusions: A solid, chunky death metal riff war machine of a record. Who needs to reinvent the wheel when the wheel has rarely sounded this good. Tormention crush and batter you into submission.

9. Kataklysm – Of Ghosts and Gods: Superb guitar harmonies mesh with a bombardment of double kicks, guttural but understandable roars and flesh searing riffs. Kataklysm may be getting a bit more melodic, but ‘Of Ghosts and Gods’ will still destroy a pit at ten feet.

8. Desecresy – Stoic Death: A slow, grinding album of Finnish death supreme, where speed has been traded in for a malevolent drudge through some of the darkest waters. Unholy, crawling chaos.

7. Putrevore – Tentacles of Horror: Probably my favourite of all Rogga Johansson’s releases this year, Putrevore smash you into the ground with pure, gurgling death metal. Viciously sludgy and with a simply awesome guitar tone, Putrevore slay.

6. Austerymn – Sepulcrum Viventium: A killer debut of pure Swedeath worship, the UK’s answer to Dismember pulled out all the stops to create a memorably brutal record with razor sharp song writing and crushing heaviness.

5. Obituary – Inked in Blood: Legends fade over time, but Obituary don’t. Still as strong today as they were when they dropped ‘Slowly We Rot’. Iconic vocal belches pepper an album built on heavy as fuck riffing and an atmosphere of reeking death.

4. Abyssus – Into the Abyss: Out Obituary-ing Obituary is no mean feat, but Greek death metal squad Abyssus manage to create one of the finest Floridian death metal albums never to come out of Morrisound. I love the raw, uncompromisingly 90s feel about it, taking me back to the heady days when death metal was a little bit more simple!

3. Shrapnel Storm – Mother War: Filling the Bolt Thrower shaped void in my life, Shrapnel Storm has spun more often than I ever thought it could this year. The band just execute a brand of deathly groove that is totally addictive. The rumble of tanks is alive and well

2. Necrocosm – Damnation Doctrine: Spiralling tech death metal with oodles of melody and stunning fretwork. ‘Damnation Doctrine’ is one of metal’s finest debuts, and is held off the top spot by one of death metal’s most influential and untouchable bands.

1.Nile – What Should Not Be Unearthed: Flailing, raging technicality meets the ancient power of the pyramids once again as Nile emerge from their tombs, laying upon us another blueprint of apocalyptic, ancient death. Once again proving that they are the greatest death metal outfit going, ‘What Should Not Be Unearthed’ is endlessly stunning.

Man did I dig this release within the first thudding death metal riffs of opening track ‘Burn’? Swedish death metallers Tormention have ripped out some very fresh riffs from their local graveyard, and each detonates with aplomb. This is their second full length, following on from 2012’s ‘Hunger for Flesh’.

Tormention are Swedish death metal, but not as you might think. There is no sign of the traditional HM2 pedal, these riffs are surgical and chunky American death style riffs rather than the chainsaw Entombed worship you’d expect. It’s remarkably refreshing to hear that these days, particularly with the modern death metal band’s penchant for being ‘retro’. Everything needs to progress at some point, and Tormention throw everything at the wall of mediocrity to smash through with force and passion. Take the glorious Eastern acoustics of ‘Legion’ that lay the groundwork before dense chugging reminds us how satisfying a thick chunky riff can be. It is a monster of a song, and is probably one of my most played tracks from the album.

Blastbeats pepper a landscape wrought of a Cannibal/Deicide brutality with a sense of pace that speaks also to their Swedish brethern in Hypocrisy. Tormention aren’t necessarily reinventing the wheel, but what they are doing is taking that wheel and spinning it in their own unique way. The production is great, adding to each riff a surgical precision and clarity. The vocals switch between a rabid scream and a more guttural roar, both of which match the music just right when they are utilised.

‘Chaotic Delusions’ is a death metal record full of variety, hellish riffing and crushing brutality. It’s been one of my surprise finds of the year, and it’s challenging Shrapnel Storm as my favourite ‘who?’ death metal record of the year. Razor sharp, bowel rattlingly heavy and brilliantly written. SUPPORT!