8 Nov 2012

Tormentstorm - Up from the Grave [Demo] (2012, Self-released)

Metal has come a long way since the beginning. Though having most of its' direct roots in the late 60's it wasn't until the early 80's that the various branches of extreme metal began to take shape, and countless modern day bands seek back to these extreme metal roots of Hellhammer, Venom and others like them in an attempt to copy or just take inspiration from them. Tormentstorm from Oklahoma, USA, is a one man effort aimed at taking part in the enormous 80's revival of more recent years with his hitherto only demo "Up from the Grave".

Whether Up from the Grave is a reference to the blatant 80's revivalism or because the music on the demo sounds like it's being played by a rotting corpse I don't know, but one thing is for certain. Tormentstorm is a prime example of why most one man bands shouldn't be ONE man bands. Up from the Grave simply lacks varied input, and when every song just sounds the same to the extent that this demo does it becomes incredibly tedious to listen to. At times I wondered if Malice, the ruling power behind Tormentstorm, was just improvising or if it was in fact organized. There are times when the music sounds a bit out of rhythm and on Screams of Torment I was wondering if the bass was even in tune.

With the aesthetics of a chaotic 80's metal band I feel that the 5 songs on Up from the Grave would be better suited with a production that doesn't reek of bedroom, and even better if it was played more energetically and at a higher tempo than the doldrum speeds that Malice put forth on the demo. It simply lacks the epic riffs, revolutionizing ideas and brilliant atmosphere of the bands that he takes inspiration from.

I normally don't mind low sound quality in music, as long as it's not paired with untight playing and boring songwriting. However Tormentstorm truely is a storm of aural torment, and I find it very hard to enjoy or even listen to. I hope Malice's future works are more thoroughly worked through. 2/10 guitars. At least the drums seem real enough.

1. Up from the Grave
2. Slaughtered for Pleasure
3. Merciless Torture
4. Infernal Sorceress
5. Screams of Torment
6. Out for Blood

TORMENTSTORM official reverbnation

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