Rot Stink Rip

Redefining Darkness
rating icon 8 / 10

Track listing:

01. Execution Bell (Intro)
02. Sealed In Blood
03. Rot Stink Rip
04. Fuckin' Nasty
05. Static
06. Metamorphosis
07. Reduced To Hate
08. Compulsive Ruminations
09. Desperate Dreams
10. Vials
11. Leave You For Last

As another vintage year for death metal grinds inexorably forward, the absurd number of top-quality releases shows no sign of slowing. Even so, TOMBSTONER immediately stand out. Those familiar with the band's "Descent to Madness" EP and "Victims of Vile Torture" debut album will be drooling at the thought of a follow-up because the New Yorkers' sound is such a breath of fresh air. Unashamedly thuggish and direct, their material to date has given New York death metal a rigorous upgrade.

Even before you hear a note of it, "Rot Stink Rip" is plainly fulfilling some kind of death metal brief. That title could hardly be more perfect. The artwork, likewise. Everything from their logo to their song titles marks TOMBSTONER out as a band with a strong sense of identity (and a sense of humor). Thankfully, these new songs do much more than fulfill expectations. "Rot Stink Rip" is a fucking riot: a death metal album with balls, swagger and big, bellicose tunes that use their hooks to cause as much damage as possible. After a spooky and grandiose intro, "Sealed In Blood" lays down the template. TOMBSTONER have groove etched into their souls, and their lurching, sledgehammer riffing is as infectious as it is punishing.

As with many NYC bands, there is a notable hardcore edge to many of these songs, and the stench of bloody concrete is never far away, but the filthiest, old-school undertow propels everything forward. The title track is a prime example. Largely mid-paced and infested with an AUTOPSY-like penchant for deeply disturbed riffs, it also slams with the kind of head-nod heft that turns HATEBREED pits into wild blurs of cheerful violence. Similarly, "Fuckin' Nasty" takes the straight-ahead battery of metallic hardcore, drowns it in offal and bile, and then flattens all-comers with a remarkable succession of massive, muscular riffs. Darker and heavier, "Static" builds up a head of sludgy steam, as TOMBSTONER rattle up through the gears and riffs cascade down like a volcano venting. The pointedly traditional death metal tirade of "Metamorphosis" starts at a manic pace, before dropping to a doomy crawl. "Reduced To Hate" builds a gruesome maze of retooled, old-school ideas and then kicks the shit out of them. With its sprinkling of classy embellishments, "Compulsive Ruminations" is a mature and refined death metal song that just happens to also be lobotomized and itching for a fight.

Consistent to the last breath, TOMBSTONER demonstrate the perfect amount of originality on "Rot Stink Rip". Songs like the horror-fueled "Desperate Dreams", the viciously scientific "Vials" and the self-explanatorily murderous "Leave You For Last" have vast amounts of character and ingenuity to go along with their grinning, goofed-out hunger for musical violence. They will hollow out your skull and use you as a bong. And you will love it.

Author: Dom Lawson
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