Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tormented - Death Awaits

I'm not really sure which new release is worse. Death Awaits is frustrating in the same way Entrails' Raging Death is. Much like their boring titles, the music contained in both is predictable and forgettable. The only difference here seems to be that I was expecting more from Tormented since Rotten Death was great thrashy fun. I can still jam out "Death owns the Night" and get stoked for the section where vocalist Dread is like "With deadly force it'll take control and bring you to your death!" Damn these guys love to use 'death' in literally every lyric and song title...

This is an an album that would've satisfied me had it been more of the same. The massive production, focus on d-beats, and simple but entertaining riffs were all highlights of Rotten Death. Opener "Death Awaits" lets on that same feel but quickly devolves into slow double bass and mid-pace riffing. "Blood Orgy" luckily cuts to the chase but doesn't really do much when it reaches its destination in d-beat town. The same can be said of "I.O.T.D." and nearly every track on Death Awaits. It's like one giant cocktease that blueballs you and instead of leaving decides to take a knife to your jugular. In other words this release is painfully disappointing.

The slower, even mid-paced tracks are pretty much unbearable. "To Spill Her Blood" is inane even when it gets faster. Luckily it's followed by "Funeral Fire," one of the few solid tracks on the album along with "Black Sky." What's weird is that the rhythm element seems even more underdeveloped this time around, and it was already pretty rudimentary on Rotten Death. I guess Jocke Ă–lund's drumwork has gotten a bit faster, but the band doesn't utilize that slight increase in speed to their advantage. There's not much in the way of memorable riffing here either, and much to my dismay there's no infectious tremolo melodies or obnoxiously loud scale fondling.

As I briefly mentioned, the production is significantly more subdued and compressed compared to Tormented's previous output. Rotten Death was awesome for it's bombastic guitar tone and loud, crashing cymbals. This album has none of that. The production and mixing isn't awful, but the music on Death Awaits can't really stand on its own like it could have on Rotten Death. A disappointing but not inherently bad release, I'll wait for Tormented's next.

5.0 out of 10

1. Death Awaits
2. Blood Orgy
3. I.O.T.D.
4. Insane With Dread
5. To Spill Her Blood
6. Funeral Fire
7. Into The Crypts Of Death
8. Black Sky
9. In The Presence Of Death

Listen // Buy

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