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Assault from Beyond the Grave
December 2008
Released: 2008, Self-released
Rating: 3.5/5
Reviewer: Luxi Lahtinen

The US speed/thrash metal assault never seems to stop... I mean, this second wave of young and talented bands that have been leading the invasion for quite some time already. Listing some names as examples would be quite unnecessary because if you just have followed a bit lately what´s going on on the US soil of speed/thrash metal, then you can surely pick up a couple of names by yourself, too.

Another new yet talented speed/thrash act on this endless list comes from the hot El Monta, California, is named ToRmenTeR - and the band´s latest 8-track offering, titled ASSAULT FROM BEYOND THE GRAVE, if it´s not fully dynamite, then it´s at least a good load of burning bullets that make you hurt, in a quite pleasing way even, I mean.

These young fellows in ToRmenTeR have surely learnt their lessons in sort of ´Slayer-ism´ - as well as they even may have learned a thing from bands like early Destruction, old Metallica, Paradox, Vio-lence, Exodus, etc. - basically getting influenced from the 80´s brave and glorious Bay Area scene, which in fact, so many other upcoming, new speed/thrash bands have constantly been sucking some of their most important and biggest influences and inspirations from.

In ToRmenTeR it amazes me quite how well-prepared these young guys actually are to churn their mixture of 30% of speed and 70% of thrash metal out such a professional and determined way, having lots of good (even if mostly recycled and rehashed) ideas in their sound, and simply playing the stuff that feels right to them, and that seems to come naturally straight from their hearts. ToRmenTeR sound like they have been doing their thing for years already, which is a good sign, of course! Such tracks like "No Anesthesia" and "Assault from Beyond the Grave" just prove loud and clear that we do have a very potential and young thrash band on our hands here that may easily get snapped by almost any label nowadays that has dealt with speed/thrash bands lately (Heavy Artillery, Earache, Metal Blade, etc.). ToRmenTeR´s guitar duo, Rodrigo and Jahir, are both kick-ass shredders who know exactly what is demanded from them to create killer speed and thrash metal, and I really like Charlie´s straight and rather rough vocal parts although they tend to be just a bit little monotonous and colorless at times. However, as long as his vocals fit to the songs, then all´s fine.

ToRmenTeR´s own cover version from one of most classic Testament songs, "Over the Wall", sounds almost identical to the original Testament song, with only a few differences in it. It goes without saying that Chuck´s powerful thrash grunts are hard to imitate, and Charlie can neither do it himself - nor is that his main intention, I suppose. Covering "Over the Wall" must be more like ToRmenTeR´s personal tribute toward one of their main inspirations, and this is seriously a well-done cover version from them.

That was it. Oh, just one more thing: Keep your eyes out for this talented bunch known as ToRmenTeR because I bet you´ll hear much more from them in the future. ;o)
Track Listing

01. Voices in the Dark
02. No Anesthesia
03. Pay the Price
04. Remorse Is for the Weak
05. Hammerhead (new version)
06. Assault from Beyond the Grave
07. Massacre on the Frontlines (new version)
08. Over the Wall*

* Testament cover song


Charlie Blitz - Vocals
Rodrigo Rodriguez - Guitar
Jahir Funes - Guitar
Joey Casarez - Bass
Thomas Bonilla - Drums

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» Assault from Beyond the Grave
by Luxi Lahtinen

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