Witchrist
The Grand Tormentor


3.5
great

Review

by Robert Garland CONTRIBUTOR (198 Reviews)
December 11th, 2012 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: New Zealand has blackened death metal too.

The Grand Tormentor is some of the dankest, filthy metal to crawl out of the southern hemisphere during the year 2012. Initially when people think of this type of metal they usually think of fellow New Zealand-ers’ Diocletian and thankfully there is enough material here to allow the two to be distinguishable acts by their own merits. This fifty-one minute titan grovels than slams onto the listeners’ senses with a combination of Incantation worship combined with your everyday typical death metal act. The sound may have been done before, but when taken with a grain of salt The Grand Tormentor highlights an improvement on the band’s debut Beheaded Ouroboros which funnily enough was also received at a reasonably high level especially as a debut. The music itself runs along the same lines as the OSDM wave; guttural vocals, low end guitar riffs, driving drum sections (blast beats and tasteful fills galore) and a production that would make today’s pop culture cringe. This is expected, most don’t expect a million dollar production from a band making sinister and crunchy, riff laden music.

Witchrist display some contrast that aids in making this an interesting listen. The tempo shifts on a regular level, not really sticking to a blast beat affair or a slow drudging dirge. The Grand Tormentor mixes in a balanced amount of both. Tracks have either a lingering presence ‘Meditation for Sacrifice’ or they’re racing through the listeners’ consciousness ‘Wasteland of Thataka’ which comes in at a very brief minute and a half. This is where the production really lends a hand; the album becomes almost suffocating and pressure begins to build. This display of low end riffs, guttural roars and less than million dollar production combine to ensure Witchrist get their message across. The level of primal barbarism shown on tracks like the aforementioned ‘Wasteland of Thataka’ and ‘Exile’ are at odds (but not completely) with the marching tempos found in ‘The Tomb’ and ‘Funeral Lotus’ (which is the records longest track). At times the straight forward nature of this record can be grating, but that’s okay The Grand Tormentor was not meant to be a mainstream, melody filled listen. Rather it’s straight forward, back to basics approach has left the listener with something heavy and accessible, allowing for a greater playback value. There’s no technical wankery, just solid song writing highlighting the potential that these guys have (and this is only their second full-length release).

For fans, they will be glad that Witchrist reared their ugly heads. The Grand Tormentor has a monstrous sound that’s almost overbearing in its nature. Their sound is far from original and may not have the same quality as acts from the old days but in where bands like Immolation and Incantation have left off there are other bands to follow in their well-trodden footsteps. This fifty one minute opus may drag in the middle but in the album’s solid song writing there is room for The Grand Tormentor to grow, to deviate around what the listener wants from an OSDM act. Listeners sit through a wasteland of filthy riffs, lurking indistinguishable vocals and switches in tempo where the bass unfortunately gets lost in the low end sound of the album. On the back of a thunderous debut, Witchrist’s sophomore record displays a band that can grow – and is willing to grow. There may indeed be better releases out there but this act hailing from New Zealand is giving the death metal scene a fair crack.



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user ratings (14)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 10th 2012


7133 Comments


I guess 2012 isn't over yet.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


This year, or next?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Probably got bumped back... Grr could do with some thrash.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Too bad if you wanted to submit them in Sputnik's end of year list i guess. Not enough time to let it sink in if it's any good.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


I like my thrash to have prolonged staying power lol.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


I thought votes closed on the 16th or something?

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Thanks man, it's a bit longer than my usual ones - but not by much.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


no I didn't participate in that list, and wasn't planning on it

Yeah thinking along the same lines.


NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Thanks man.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Have you heard this man? Sounds like something you would be into.

ShadowRemains
December 11th 2012


21835 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

good album

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


^this.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Not sure man, I get most of my stuff from iTunes (hence ipod hahaha) for example the Arcana Coelestia was the easiest money I've spent in a very long time. It's great for the 'similar artists' etc.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2012


4462 Comments


Good review, mate. You've been on a real streak. POS'd.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Thanks man, I've left a rec for you in your Shoutbox tell me how you go.

SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
December 11th 2012


4462 Comments


Oh thanks, mate. I'l give it a listen.

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Sure thing : )

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Sure thing : )

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


20204 Comments


Great review pos.

You really should wait till your last review is off the home page to submit a new one though. You be bumping my new review off the home page ;)

Digging: Tenhi - Maaaet

NocteDominum
Contributing Reviewer
December 11th 2012


7133 Comments


Sorry Dude, i just wanted to get the last one up before I went back to work. Thanks for the pos.



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