Register Forgot login?

© 2002-2020
Encyclopaedia Metallum

Best viewed
without Internet Explorer,
in 1280 x 960 resolution
or higher.

Privacy Policy

Dear God...You're All Fucking Doomed! - 97%

GraveViorator, February 12th, 2008

"97%???? For an Abscess record???? This guy must be crazy!"

This is what you're probably thinking if you've never listened to Tormented before. However, I guarantee that if you give it a few listens you'll agree with me and maybe even say that the mark I gave it is too low. You see, what we have here is basically an absolute death metal masterpiece. It might not be 'important', but only pretentious assholes about that. It's the album that Autopsy should have put out after Mental Funeral but, for some reason, didn't. It came out at a time when this style (that being the early, puke-encrusted and simple kind of death metal) was not at all popular and it was released by a record label that folded shortly after this was put out. Such a shame. More people need to hear it.

'Tormented' is very straight-forward. It won't win you over with technicality. What it will do, however, is disturb you...intensely. What it lacks in technicality it makes up for it tenfold in atmosphere and passion. Right from the first four chords, 'Tormented' wraps you up in a horrifying atmosphere that brings to mind the worst nightmares you've ever had. The best way to describe the feel of the album is to say this: Take the deformed, slimy, eight-headed monster on the cover of 'Mental Funeral' and then get GG Allin to sodomize it for a long period of time. Then get a choir of demented drunks to vomit in unison and create beautiful music out of their spewing. This is not to put the music down but just to give you an idea of how horrifying and disgusting 'Tormented' really is. It's a rotten, punk-addled ride into psychological hell that starts off blazing and thrashing and ends off on a note so damned evil you'd think that they were in fact conjuring some age-old malevolent spirit. In addition to this, the reverb-heavy production makes it sound like it was recorded in the funeral home in 'Phantasm'. The entire record just reeks of death and insanity. The songs range from devastating sludge to sounding like a detuned Motorhead cover band fronted by a bunch of murderers and necrophiliacs. The solos crash and wail, sounding like screeching ghosts calling at you to take your fucking soul! The vocals are phlegm-gargled monstrosities that sound every bit as wounded and emotionally unstable as they are disgusting. This isn't to say that 'Tormented' isn't fun at all, as there are many tracks that will kick your ass so hard that it'll be numb for a week. The songs are disturbing and vile yet insanely catchy at the same time and you'll find yourself gargling and shrieking along to them without even noticing it.

This album is still a lot like Abscess's earlier stuff (like 'Seminal Vampires and Maggotmen) but with better production and a lot of the detuned creepiness of Mental Funeral. In addition to that, the song-writing quality has sky-rocketed and the songs are equally despondent and morbid at the same time. The vocals are probably the best part of the album, as they sound furious, disgusting but also very honest and emotionally intense. Of course the album is supposed to be totally disgusting, but there are a lot of emotional layers on it and the vocals do a great deal to help this. The songs are very brutal and they vary in speed, going from punk rock beats to thrashing, old school death to molasses-slow sludge.

If I were to pick a few stand-out tracks they would be: "Halo of Disease", "Madness and Parasites", "Scratching at the Coffin", "Ratbag", "Death Runs Red" and "Madhouse at the End of the World". Look at those song-titles, they're death metal poetry! That leads me to another thing: the lyrics. Strangely enough the lyrics on this album are actually interesting. They're intelligently written and clearly done under the influence of heavy drugs. They're gory and insane but also surreal and disturbing.

So with all this high talk, why am I giving this album 97% rather than 100%? Well, there's a song or two that feels kind of like filler, but even those songs are still a lot of fun. Still, I guess that takes it down by 3%.

So, the bottom line is: if you find this album buy it without question. If you have to rob an old lady and beat up small children to get this album, do that anyways. It'll be worth it.