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DEMO/EP ROUNDUP - Tombstoner and Torn In Half

Once again into the salt mines everybody - it's time to scout out some more underground treasures ...

Staten Island, New York's Tombstoner kicks things off with their debut EP Descent To Madness (Redefining Darkness). Containing five tracks (over twenty-one minutes) of old school death with a pinch of grind, the band are able to walk the rather thin tightrope between writing catchy material while retaining enough heaviness to appease the hardcore deathsters. Part of this is achieved through the use of a vocalist who is refreshingly different than the standard cookie monster spewer, instead utilizing a discernible shout/growl approach at the mic. Highlight - "Filth Hole" which reminds me of prime Kataklysm. A mighty impressive debut. (7.5)

We are assaulted next by Torn In Half, with their death metal debut EP Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth (Redefining Darkness). The Boston-based unit delve in the filthy side of the metal of death sub-genre, utilizing a downtuned guitar sound damn near close to the approach used by Swedish DM practitioners. Nick G then provides rising-from-the-crypt vocals to add that extra-slimy feel to this four-track, eleven minute effort. The sound of being buried alive. (7)

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