When I look into the home-grown extreme metal scene, which I do regularly, I see a mushrooming amount of talent ready to assault the planet with a multitude of very promising releases. This act from Belfast plays a mix of death and grind almost equally. As a side note I really like the cover art for this release, stark mechanistic mutilation of a human torso with wires and engine which is spanned over a couple of panels to great effect.
As with most grind album the songs are short and executed with ferocity, though quite why the label needs to give a song by song breakdown for writers is rather leading, instead of giving the reviewer his or her chance to make their own judgement. Incorporating style and influence sure enough but a track by track breakdown no thanks. That aside this battering Belfast outfit sets about savaging the listener with nine tunes of technical bedlam but coupled equally, as I said, to death metal elements which essentially is the backing rhythm and double bass bulldozing this debut release has. The playing and production hint at a band far more mature and experienced as the songs contain some rather exceptional structuring bordering progressive in places.
Opening with the very serene aural assault of “Descent” the riffing has copious amounts of Cannibal Corpse concreted into the basic rhythm of the song, with the riffs unleashed in a tornado frenzy. The prevalent grinding drum sound dominates “Napalm Orchid” as the vocal ditties of ‘Fuck You’ and ‘Bullshit’ sit well within the violence of the songs delivery. Whereas most grind bands tend not to use double kick in their songs TOM use it to crushing effect on all the tunes with “Infinite Intolerance” bordering bomb blast territory in a way that Cattle Decapitation or maybe Cephalic Carnage display. As always there are massive riffing groove elements such as “Unrelenting” and “Venom In The Blood”, though I disliked the fade out on the former; doesn’t seem right for grind tunes to fade out to me.
“Structures of The Wretched” makes me think of acts like Mumakil, Maruta and maybe even Inhume for the monstrous blasting and good old fashioned eardrum mauling it assails you with. Closing tune, “In The Company Of Reformed Cruelty” offers more of the progressive stance the band has with a chaotic but interesting riff style being used to sandwich a much slower atmospheric piece. I could name a mass of bands that are in a similar vein to this such as Fuck The Facts for the manic blasting, The Rotted for vicious guitar work, and even Ion Dissonance for the seemingly random tempo changes and pace shifting. Highly promising The Obscene Machine has manufactured a solid grinding death release.
(7/10 Martin Harris)