Monday, June 11, 2012

Tormented - Graveyard Lust

Emerging from the depths of the graveyard dust, slithering among fiends and skeletons, the modern masters of Swedish horror return with yet another stomach-churning release of putrid, irresistible chainsaw driven groove and archaic flesh that fill not fail to achieve what Tormented achieved in the near past. Tormented are one of the most successful bands to create top-tier Swedish death metal, the way it was made in the 90's. Tormented are no strangers to this style. Their debut album ''Rotten Death'' was a prime example of old school Swedeath, and they succeeded in churning the ghastly sound of chainsaw oriented punk madness with some of their own twists, bringing contrast and quality to their music. Their latest EP, ''Graveyard Lust'' is the exact continuation of the previous release, and many fans will be pleased to hear that their sound has stayed fresh (although still very rotten), so this is simply another slab of horror laden graveyard metal, decorated with all the fine elements of elegantly composed brutality.

Another thing that you should be content about is that the EP rages for a good twenty-five minutes packed in six songs (only eight minutes less from the album), so many will gladly feast upon this bloodied piece of thrusting carnage. As I said, this basically starts where ''Rotten Death'' left, so don't expect to find too much variation compared to the debut. Tormented's classic brand of tinging, brooding melodies flow just like they flowed previously, bringing an even more eerie overtone to the hefty riffs. The riffs still preserve their putrid stench, channeling through a combination of mid-paced chord progressions, standard tremolo picking that get slightly muffled in the mix and rabid gushes of punk inspired chainsaw mayhem--all, the traditional traits of Swedish death metal. I can't really dub the material here as original, because Tormented have mostly borrowed styles rather than creating their own, but every track is a burden of groove and a sensational onslaught, crushing and hostile in every way, and still, Tormented manage to get some liveliness into those raw riffs, with hint of looming melodies, a dash of distorted production and that fantastic buzz saw guitar tone to top it all.

It's fun yes, but I just couldn't help but feel that Tormented wasn't dwelling upon whilst writing their songs as some tracks had little to separate themselves from the others. The title track and ''Slowly Twisted In Death'' are superb compositions of necroptic Swedeath, but some other pieces like ''Revel In Blood'' or ''Horror Of The Faceless Man'' just stick to the very basics of the formula, sounding a little bit repetitive at times, even though they're still farm from dull or boring. The production here has a tiny bit of more spark and light on it then before, so the riffs don't entirely drown and die, and the drums sound much more efficient and clear this time, sounding like more of a beast than a monotonous metronome. Each track is nasty and cryptic of course, and we have the fantastic vocal delivery of singer/guitarist Andreas Axelsson. HE sounds as if he didn't age a bit even though there's been a good gap of three years between this EP and the debut album, and his sick voice is muffled and obviously manipulated, adding a hollow dissonance to the harsh, throaty snarls and growls. He  growls well, but I'd say his voice is also suitable for a vicious, fast thrash metal band in the vein of Sodom, Kreator, Morbid Saint, etc. This EP brings good news to fans, because with six tracks already recorded and released, a second full-length shouldn't be very distant. Until that comes out, enjoy this piece of grisly Swedeath excellence.

Sick In The Dead
Slowly Twisted In Death
Graveyard Lust

Rating: 85%

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