And the Swedish death metal just keeps on coming in waves. It once again begs the question: what the hell is going on over there anyway? Speculation points to a covert government operation that has resulted in the releasing of an as yet unidentified chemical into the water that stimulates the little known death metal gene. Or maybe Sweden just loves its death metal. Whatever the case, on "Tank Gasmask Ammo", THOSE WHO BRING THE TORTURE have unleashed 13 tracks of gnarly death metal that leans heavily to the groovy and tuneful side.
Featuring members of RIBSPREADER, PAGANIZER, TAEDEAT and KNIFE IN CHRIST, this underground super group released a self-titled album in 2007, which I somehow missed, but will seek out in short order. "Tank Gasmask Ammo" is chock-full of grinding grooves and the kind of storm trooping fervor that results in a banging of the head over which the listener has no control. Rooted in old-school Swedish death, but with a semi-modern sheen and intelligible vocals, tracks like "Napalm God" and the punky death of "Mutant Slut" (which always makes me think of DARKTHRONE's "Graveyard Slut", even though the styles are different) are as bludgeoning as they are catchy. Several other cuts boast a kind of sinister swing, the refrain of "Upon the Bonethrone" a case in point and one that also features a kind of "Children of the Grave" riff stutter on the verse. Just as important, it is one of many examples of songwriting on "Tank Gasmask Ammo" that is addictively fun.
The sophomore effort from THOSE WHO BRING THE TORTURE defines the difference between death metal savagery that becomes indistinguishable halfway through the album and the kind that keeps listener attention for the entire duration because of varied song structures and memorable songwriting. Don't look for reinvention; just crank this sucker up and enjoy.