Buy Album: https://tombstoner-us.bandcamp.com/album/victims-of-vile-torture
Band Website: https://www.facebook.com/TombstonerBand
Thomas Megill -Vocals / Bass
Daniel Megill -Rhythm Guitar
Jesse Quinones -Vocals / Lead Guitar
Jason Quinones –Drums
1. Victims of Vile Torture
7.Frozen in Fear
Tombstoner are a band on Redefining Darkness Records, who formed in 2019. It features two sets of two brothers, who play a mixture of death metal, grindcore, thrash, hardcore and brutal slam. Their latest effort ‘Victims of Vile Torture’ follows their 2020 debut EP ‘Descent to Madness’. The mini album has received masses of praise the world over, and the musician’s writing has only improved since then. The group are for fans of Dyscarnate, Power Trip, and Gatecreeper. In particular, VoVT has a very 94-97 era Machine Head sound. It will be available on 30th July, 2021.
Despite the fusion of styles, don’t expect this music to be groundbreaking. An extreme metal noob, would most likely just call it ‘death metal’ with the occasional innovative (if not weird) idea thrown in, here and there. Much of the time, things are rather unspectacular. Expect cliched, ultra chromatic riffing in the style of Cannibal Corpse for the majority of the time. Some of the best parts of the album are when crushing, yet everyday groove tempo riffing gets followed by more furious death. The contrasts are genuinely effective and exciting, but I wanted more of them.
The guitar solos are always flashy and the axeman never plays beyond his abilities. Again, they’re not exactly anything new, but shred metal fans will almost certainly appreciate them. The tapping parts of ‘Fractured Souls’ have a bit of a creepy doomy vibe. I’m reminded of the dark Candlemass album ‘Tales of Creation’. Maybe a tiny bit morbid for casual, plain old thrill seekers, but most death metallers will handle them with ease. The cool descending bass line and contrasting, more static guitar harmonies in ‘Nothing’s Sacred’ take the musicality to a whole new level. It’s often very easy to write parts where everything is unison, but not so much parts just described. However, such intelligent ideas don’t last nearly as long as they should. Maybe the band didn’t want to show off and come across as lame/pretentious, which is understandable, but the ideas were still heavy, so there was nothing at all wrong with them.
Some of the riffs in ‘Frozen in Fear’ and ‘Trepidation’ almost have a bit of a power metal feel. I’m reminded of Firewind. They kind of bring a sense of fun to the sound, which sounds weird, but the band pull it off. That is because some PM and DM music has various similarities – in this case, notey guitar parts. Track ‘Armageddon’ has some spooky clean guitar ideas and melodic soloing that kind of bring thrashers Testament to mind. Whilst the devices are slightly out of character and may take a bit of getting used to, they far from ruin things. The added string parts that follow? They’re not so appealing. ‘Frozen in Fear’ even ends with a few seconds of techno synths. Why are the band trying to be progressive, groovy, thoughtful, orchestral, brutal, doomy, electronic, etc.? It’s not really effective. Put it like this: You’ve heard of orchestral death metal, right? But have you heard of Prog-orchestral-electro-thrash metal? No? The main reason is, few would want to.
In conclusion there are a number of highlights in this album, but I still would have liked more of them. However, that doesn’t mean that I want to hear almost random concepts thrown in here and there, in a semi-rushed sounding way. Furthermore, it’s not as if the weaker parts of the release are boring, but again, they are very cliched. Lots of palm muted chugging at various speeds, and a lack of melody. The musicians are clearly talented, but a lot of that talent has been wasted on sticking to a formula and not sticking to a formula enough. I know that sounds weird. What I’m trying to say is that some of this stuff is predictable, some more random. It needs more plain wildness! This album is fairly average in quality, and it’s not particularly recommended.