14 Jan 2014

Tormentstorm - Into the Ominous Door [Full length] (2013, No Sleep Till Megiddo Records)

Up From the Grave was released in 2012 as the first demo from one-man black-thrash project Tormentstorm, paying tribute to the greats of the genre through a misbegotten mess of guitars, vocals, bass and drums. The demo was poorly received because it was poorly conceived. In mid 2013 the second release was ready, entitled Into the Ominous Door.

When I reviewed Up From the Grave I thought to myself that surely Malice could not be serious. He was. And on Into the Ominous Door he shows us why. If nothing else, this second release is at least a tremendous improvement over the first demo. The riffs have structure and the production and songwriting is infinitely better, and better still is the musicianship of Malice. The melodies and arrangements is kept simple, and several bands have proven this to be as good an approach as any, and truly it feels like this is where Tormentstorm is at home.

The rhythm department is where things take a turn for the worse. Unfortunately the drums and bass (if there is any) are nothing but a faint whisper in the shadow of the shredding guitars, and the vocals too are overpowered by the sound of the strings. The full length still holds little merrit because the drums aren't loud enough to properly drive the songs forward and the vocals are too inaudible to create the sense of recognition, depth and variation that the album so desperately craves. The riffs themselves are pretty varied for a black-thrash album, but can't in themselves justify having multiple songs in excess of 6 minutes.

The thing is that it seems like a lot of wasted effort and potential. The riffs and compositions are good enough to warrant more attention and a higher quality. This album could actually be really good if the drums and vocals were held to the same standard that the guitars are. The simple style fits Tormentstorm well, but if you're gonna go simple you have to go all the way and get all the details right. 5/10 guitars

1. Bestial Storm
2. The Elder Seal
3. Morbid Rites
4. Barbaric Overthrow
5. Onslaught of Steel
6. Plunging the Dagger
7. Throne of Sadism
8. Nocturnal Mistress

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Visit No Sleep Till Megiddo Records' website

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