Tombstoner – Rot Stink Rip (Redefining Darkness Records)

Monday, 29th April 2024
Rating: 8 / 10

Not very often do you see two sets of brothers joining together for a band – but that’s what we have here from Staten Island, NY for Tombstoner. Arriving on the scene in 2019, the quartet create an explosive cocktail of death metal that contains elements of thrash, grindcore, and OSDM influences for this second album Rot Stink Rip. The title came to one of the band members when working their day job as an electrician as they pulled underground feeders across an entire military base – a mirror to what listeners will hear in this savage material delivered in pummeling fashion.

Chunky, groovy riffs that shove bodies into pits of despair against tempos that can be straight-ahead one minute, then extreme in blasting / hardcore measures the next allow these musicians to really cover a wide array of textures – often within the same arrangement if necessary. East Coast hardcore boils in the blood, so that when intertwining OSDM, thrash, or doom-like parts, the results can be quite earth-shattering – the title track attests to that, the lead breaks quite Meshuggah/jazz-oriented for a dynamic contrast. The vocals seethe in this swirling cauldron of snarls, screams, and militant barking – if you aren’t swept up by the mid-tempo riffs or double-kick inducing windmill tempos, the total picture pushed within “Static” and “Compulsive Ruminations” should smash through as a multi-sensory odyssey worthy of repeat engagement. Progressive time signature shifts against a swirling mass of deadly riffs infiltrate “Vials” – a back half stunner that also features another jaw dropping lead break while the hoarse dripping screams could shatter glass.

With proper recording knowledge from Windfaerer’s Ben Karas behind the boards, Tombstoner sits well in the ranks of current artists like Frozen Soul or Creeping Death in terms of versatility on display for Rot Stink Rip. The four-piece inject their songwriting with the best balance of hooks next to the raw aggression – not easily achieved, but makes for a long-term, memorable record that should push the following of the band exponentially.

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