I often lament the utter lack of individuality and originality amongst modern death metal bands, but now and then an act arrives that is in such total mastery of the genre’s basics that such concerns are irrelevant. That brings us to Poland’s MARTYRDOOM and As Torment Prevails…these gross motherfuckers just plain plow you under the rancid Earth with this pulsating pustule of doom-tinged rottenness.
Two things help elevate MARTYRDOOM; the quality of their riffs, which is outstanding, and the true feeling of morbid sickness, which is something that just can’t be faked. If you like greasy, oozing riffs drenched in distortion, lay your tortured ears on ‘Garden Of Flesh’ and tell me these guys don’t kick seven tons of ass. These are some of the sickest tones I’ve heard…there’s a resemblance to the more distorted moments of CELTIC FROST and TRIPTYKON in the slower heaving chords here. It’s almost indecently catchy, if such death metal can ever be called catchy. There’s a great blasting speed-up in the middle of the track before it returns to the original slithering ooze. Just an immense death-doom track.
It tells you something that the band covers AUTOPSY’s ‘In The Grip Of Winter’ and stays doggedly faithful to it. That band is another touchstone for MARTYRDOOM. ‘Shedding The Soul’ and ‘Katatonic Ascension of Cirrhosis’ are two more sickies resembling not just AUTOPSY but classic Finnish filth of old. The singer sounds like Martin Van Drunen in the terminal stages of leprosy…get the fuck out of town if you expect to hear any cleans! The opening moments of ‘Purtenance’ (surely a tip of the hat to the old Finnish band of the same name) make me want to tear something alive to pieces.
Get the picture? As Torment Prevails is true diseased doom-death of undiluted vintage. When the band sounds this sick, who needs originality?
Review By: Dr. Abner Mality
As Torment Prevails
Memento Mori Records