September 18, 2008 | | 3.5

Those Who Bring the Torture, Tank Gasmask Ammo

Let’s take a page out of the Those Who Bring The Torture play book and get right to the point. Tank Gasmask Ammo is built on a solid base of old school Swedish death metal with some serious grind influences and groove thrown in for good measure. Formed in 2007 by members of Ribspreader and Paganizer, TWBTT are dead set on crushing your very soul with a combustible mixture of straight forward death metal, grinding rhythms and groove oriented hooks to pull you in, under and out of your own skin.

There’s a definite old school feel to this one with influences from the likes of early Entombed, yet TWBTT also has a more modern take on death metal. While much of the disc is straight forward, groove fueled bludgeoning there are moments where the group infuse some healthy grinding blasts for good measure. There’s nothing particularly inventive within the 13 tracks on Tank Gasmask Ammo, there is a certain something that makes this one pretty damned enjoyable to listen to.

Napalm god
TWBTT open up the flood gates to nuclear armageddon with crushing riffs and bludgeoning rhythms sure to leave you breathless and in a cold sweat. This one hits like an atom bomb with massive riffs and heavy handed drum work. The tempo shifts nicely throughout the track breaking up what could have been a monotonous pace. I love the explosion of activity after the two minute mark.

Mutant slut
“Mutant slut” starts off with some guitar noise before settling into a driving pace with thick rhythms and beefy guitars. The pace on this one is simply punishing and doesn’t let up with its ferocious beating. The vocals so far have been guttural and raw, intermixed with layered backing screams and growls. the 1:35 mark sees the band hit some thrashier blasts that are too much fun to ignore. The chorus is catchy as hell.

All hail the goat
A few brief distorted sound clips start this one off before the band gets into one hell of a groove with some heavy riffs and some Entombed inspired guitar work. The opening vocals on this on are bit higher in range and not nearly as powerful, but fit the more “melodic” feel of the song perfectly. Deeper guttural growls come in just a bit before the two minute mark and change off and on with the higher end delivery. The goat sounds around the 2:30 mark are a little off putting, but whatever floats your demented boat.

Tank gasmask ammo
The title track wastes no time in bringing the heavy to the table. Manic drum work joins driving riffs and the deeper growls in just over two minute worth of bruising death metal. I love the vocals just before the one minute mark and how they fit nicely into the crushing rhythms. This is one hell of a track.

Celebrating gamma bliss
Chugging riffs and beefy drums open up “Celebrating gamma bliss” as the vocals come in at the 20 second mark. I love the rhythms throughout this one — the groove is enough to separate your head from your shoulders. There are some wacky noises about halfway through this one that really don’t do anything for me, but some folks may dig them. Just like the previous song, this one is a bruising monster.

Riders on the mushroom cloud
A raw and aggressive opening to this next one shifts right into groove filled riffs and a steady rhythm before a brief explosion of activity around :30. A few sound clips and some noise breaks up the groove a bit, but TWBTT quickly get settled again, ready to batter your cranium with grinding blasts and sick riffs. Layered vocals around the 1:40 mark add an evil edge to this one.

Expecting a search
After a short bit of noise, the band gets back into the groove of the previous track with a steady rhythm and chugging riffs. I love the old school feel of this one. It’s got plenty of groove and is punctuated by some sweet leads. There’s some nice thick bass lines to finish out the track.

When humans and axes collide
If you’re not paying attention, this one flows in smoothly from “Expecting a search” and you’ll be left behind. There are some beefy grind influenced double bass blasts that hit hard and often amongst the driving riffs and guttural growls. The thick bass line at 1:38 helps break up the driving pace as the vocals bring in a few different styles leaning toward the grindcore end of the metal spectrum.

You should be brutally slaughtered
Slick, chugging riffs match the steady pace nicely on the onset of this next track. The vocals have an urgent feel as the pace ebbs and flows along with the growls. Rolling grooves fuel this track with lots of double bass and melodic hooks. The solo around 2:25 has a soulful, rock vibe to it that, oddly enough, fits into the grinding death metal well.

Upon the bonethrone
The opening guitar work to “Upon the bonethrone” has a thick, stoner feel to it as it slowly climbs out of the sludge. Once the riffs shift into a massive wall of guitar, the vocals come in thick and raw. This is one sweet track, with lots of groove and sludgier feel. There’s another blistering lead at 2:38 that unfortunately is fairly short lived.

Reveler in rot
TWBTT abandon the swampier riffs for a more technical, grinding feel with a variety of layered vocal deliveries. This on jumps along like a methadone addict looking for their next fix.

Ionizing Rapture Altering Tissue
Building slowly “Ionizing Rapture Altering Tissue” gets up to speed with driving riffs and heavy drums before settling into a high tempo rid through some old school guitar work. I’m digging the thrash influence on a few of the guitar shifts.

Radiation blessed
The final track on Tank Gasmask Ammo starts off with a sound clip before the band descends into grinding death metal madness. They don’t stay long, however, as some melodic hooks arise through a brief moment of calm. When TWBTT want to get violent, there’s nothing stopping them, as they jump into the fray at any given moment with pummeling riffs and bruising rhythms. The tack is pretty short and ends with an explosion sound effect.

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This is one of those middle of the road albums that sometimes is more enjoyable to listen to on a regular basis that those really pushing the limits of their respective genres. The mixture of old school death metal, light grind influences and groove make Tank Gasmask Ammo an entertaining listen.

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