13 Apr 2016

Tormentstorm: "Up From the Grave"

Venomhammer-worship with nothing to prove but everything to lose
Though the product of a time long gone, countless modern day bands seek back to the roots of extreme metal in tribute to bands like Sarcófago, Hellhammer and Venom. Tormentstorm from Oklahoma, USA, is a one man effort aimed at taking part in the enormous collective homage to that period in the early 80s where extreme metal began to flourish with his Up From the Grave demo.

Whether Up From the Grave is a reference to the blatant accolade or a play on the fact that the music sounds like it's being played by a rotting corpse is hard to tell, but Tormentstorm is a prime example of why most one man bands should cease to be. Up From the Grave doesn't have one single good song on it, and the tracks found on the demo are so offendingly samey that Malice - the man behind Tormentstorm - could obviously need some more varied input. Very quickly does this 2012 release become stale and tedious to listen to, and at times it's hard to discern whether or not the ruling power behind the band was just improvising or if it was in fact supposed to resemble some form of an organised structure.

"...there are times when Tormentstorm seems generally out of rhythm and out of tune..."

If you've read Thomas Fischer's Only Death is Real about the early history of Hellhammer, you'll know that the band was not very professional in any aspect. But Hellhammer, and the similar bands that we still remember today, at least had a sort of charm and really memorable songwriting capabilities. But there are times when Tormentstorm seems generally out of rhythm and out of tune to the point of it being completely unlistenable garbage. With the aesthetics of chaotic 80s extreme metal but without the tempo to match, the demo falls flat long before it even comes close to the greatness of the bands Malice is influenced by.

Dirty bunker-sound isn't inherently awful - On the contrary, it can definitely be vital in the creation of an atmosphere - but when coupled with Tormentstorm's inane and unreasonably bad songwriting and technical skills on his instruments, the dodgy sound job only adds to the inferior quality of the release. Better pass on this one.


Released in 2012 independently

Tormentstorm on FACEBOOK

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