Reviews

DC-CD003 Torment - Pain is transient, Failure forever


Masterful Magazine

Belgian death metal group Torment is somewhat on an enigma. Forming in 1999 they released a pair of surprisingly accomplished demos, with 2002's "Hate Fulfilled" being an early peak. In 2005 Torment released its debut "Forgive the Ignorant" and now some 6 years later returns with "Pain Is Transient". Not a lot of Belgian acts accomplish what Torment has done in their lifetime. "Pain Is Transient" is chockfull of US death metal in the tradition of Immolation ("Here In After", "Failures For Gods"), Incantation ("Mortal Throne Of Nazarene"), spiced up with some light moody electronics and minor progressive and psychedelic elements. Underneath the riffs current flows a vibe reminiscent of Doug Cerrito-era Suffocation which adds greatly to the density and heaviness. What makes this band different from a lot of their contemporaries is the ghastly and unearthly atmosphere that Torment is able to create through out their music. Seldom does a band today manage to sound as brooding, as evil and as dark as Torment does on this record. In that sense they are reminiscent of the old US death metal masters that combined monolithic songstructures with evil riffing and an atmosphere of darkness and gloom. Dynamically, "Pain Is Transient" is a lot like (early) Immolation – one moment Torment is blasting like there's no tomorrow, the other moment they are dissonant and brooding, only to force the pace down to almost doom-esque dirge tempos. The riffs occasionally border into black metal territory, which only adds to the intensity. If France's Blut Aus Nord played US death metal this is what they would sound like. The fold-out booklet consists of two medieval paintings by local artist Pieter Bohanon, who are stylistically similar to the work of Hans Memling, whose work graced the debut album of Hate Eternal. Hands down the best Belgian death metal album since Aborted's break-out record "Engineering the Dead".



Mindview

Another example that it often is better to spend 5 years on an album then to hurry just to get an album out every 2 years. These 5 belgians may have the most unoriginal name on the planet but with this second album they give this same planet one of the best releases of the year. You think Immolation and Triptykon made pretty dark albums ?, Well this is looking the dark in the eye, pour a bucket of tar over it and wrap it up in the darkest paper available.

You are immortal but unfortunately you ended up in a labyrint without exit, meeting surrealistic creatures or elements and feel the piercing eyes of a threathening intangible yet very disturbing entity pointed at you. At night you hear the supernatural howls of predators, regularly attacking you, ripping you to pieces with razorsharp daggers and blowing retreat just as fast as they came. Leaving you behind provoked, suffering under the impotence, hearing echos of lost souls straight from hell.

Still not enough metaphores ?, Umheimisch guitars bursting out an atmosphere freezing your spine and evoking a kind of panicking phobia. The bassdrums linger forth in the background, a magma upripping deep growl breezes you past surreal soundstructures to disorrientating guitarmasses who, when they meet, start to mix and drain you into a black hole sucking you dry. Aside from all darkness and atmosphere some heavy thunderstrucks pound down with furious lightnings.

All together with a feeling of permanent unsafety, melancholic riffs and those ghastly noises we wouldn’t be surprised if David Lynch were to create a movie out of this cd.

Forgive us the metaphores, but there is no other way to capture our feelings. Seldom heard a cd that calls fort hat many images. There is no structure, you don’t need any, this is a rollercoaster that creates fear, and yet you don’t want to get out because it is that intriging and appealing, never loosing your interest. Unique death Metal that sticks to your ribs.

Platinum 7 out of 7

Archaic Magazine

Out of Belgium, I received the second album from Torment titled "Pain is transient, failure forever" released on the Diabolical Constellation record label. Their debut album was released way back in 2005 ("Forgive the Ignorant"), so it took them six years to come up with the follower. But man, what a very good album, it was worth the waiting!

Death metal with industrial and atmospheric aspects in it, great blast beats mixed with slow conspicuous parts and a quiet mechanical drum sound, that's about the summary of this album. Definitely give this album the time to grow and nestle itself into your brains, because it's a killer! Fans of Immolation and Morbid angel will dig this, but Torment has got a own identity that is unique.

Lords of Metal

Ik had nog nooit gehoord van de Belgische Torment, laat staan van het Diabolical Constellation record label, maar zo te horen heb ik nog één en ander in te halen! Torment’s vorige release getiteld ’Forgive The Ignorant’ (2005) kreeg een wagonlading goede kritieken over zich heen gestort dus ik was best benieuwd waarom. Voordat ik naar de volgende alinea overstap, laat ik eerst even vertellen dat dit een hele vette death metal is geworden maar dat deze CD niet op de traditionele of standaard leest is geschoeid. Torment mixt namelijk verschillende invloeden tot een prima atmosferische death metal schijf.

Terwijl ik naar ‘Pain Is Transient, Failure Forever’ zit te luisteren vliegen namen van meesterwerken als ‘Ames De Marbre’ (Sadness, 1993), ‘From The Shadows’ (Unholy, 1993) en ‘Blessed Are The Sick’ (Morbid Angel, 1991) door mijn hoofd en het is niet mis om daarmee vergeleken te worden. Het zal dan ook veel van Torment vergen om deze CD nog te evenaren. Met het werktempo van onze Zuiderburen in het achterhoofd zal de volgende CD echter wel weer zes jaar op zich laten wachten dus dat geeft ze genoeg tijd om aan nummers te schaven.

Typisch zo’n CD die je heel wat luisterbeurten moet gunnen voordat alle geheimen zich prijsgeven. Te gek als je houdt van death metal met een kleine industriële en een flinke atmosferische “touch”.

Score: 85/100


Deathmetal.be

TORMENT was founded in the summer of '99 by Jens Decaluwé (guitar), Nicolas Hernandez
(drums), Ullie Vandendriessche (vocals) and David Caytan (bass). Curd "Carlos" Callewaert
completed them on guitar”. Miraculously, this promo text still applies even after 12 years of existence. The band that was born in West-Flanders and plays a different type of death metal: lots of influences in and out of metal, dark atmospheres and spacey samples. However the band managed to stay low on the radar since their first demo in 2000 and after the debut in 2005 they are finally ready to present us their sophomore album: ‘Pain Is Transient, Failure Forever’.

The debut album was highly acclaimed by local and national press, but they didn’t make name/fame for their selves, so it came as a surprise that in 2011 they are here to release their second album. Personally I’ve never heard of them, so this was our first encounter (of the third kind?).
The music itself is chaotic, psychedelic, spacey, dark, ambient and at times straightforward. Death metal with hints to MORBID ANGEL and other open-minded bands that don’t fear experimentation. From what I’ve heard this is the Belgian death metal release of the year 2011 and most connoisseurs with an open mind towards complex and difficult music all agree that what Torment has done is something rare and unique. Not only the lyrics and the dark feel but most importantly the artwork gives the listener a kind of twisted feeling when listening to this album. Crazy song structures and ditto vocal lines are the trademarks of this Torment and they display a wide range of riffs (going from aggressive over doomy to weird and back) that both sound in-your-face and distant at times.

But to be honest: I don’t see why Torment is so special, although that might just be my lack of interest and experience in that specific genre (and perhaps my shortcoming as a reviewer). Agreed, these guys know how to play their instrument and the whispers, grunts and dissonant riffs often strikes the listener with fear (as far as music can creep people out) and the vocals are never monotonous, but the repetitive nature of the riffs just doesn’t do it for me. Even though this isn’t my cup of tea, I have to agree that the one track that really stands out, ‘Infinite Black’, is amongst the best songs I’ve heard in a long time. Fans of the genre can add 20 points to the final score.

[69/100]

Written by Tom Dejonghe



DC-CD002 Second Hell / Skull Crusher (Hol) - Metal Deadness.


Voices From The Darkside

Diabolical Constellation Productions have unearthed one of the best split albums ever released. This was originally released by Killer Elite Records way back in '86 but now repressed by this newly formed label in noble digipack form. METAL DEADNESS is the testament of two very young pioneering bands that stormed our ears during mid 80'ies with their very aggressive & unrelenting brand of thrash that even reaches the death boundaries ocassionally. The Split kicks off with SECOND HELL virtually spitting fire from their instruments song after song and will surely punish your head to an unspeakable level. "Prophets Of Hell" is a blast, "Homicide" and "Face The Truth" are also capable to show us the how intense this band actually was. Next in line are SKULL CRUSHER which eventhough somewhat slower still provides the listener with a dose of maniacal metal coming directly from the pits of hell. Netherlands has always been one of the most productive scenes of Europe & METAL DEADNESS is a living proof of that. Attention people into early ONSLAUGHT, early POSSESSED, MINOTAUR,old KREATOR & old SODOM...This is for you...


Diabolical Conquest Zine (Score: 9.5)

Its about goddamn TIME that somebody put this prized relic on CD. I first caught wind of this curio through The Corroseum, before the testimony of my friend Anu corroborated its awesomeness, said friend attesting that the split remains an essential artifact for all devotees of obscure death/thrash. After months of anticipation, the good Roy Beuting of Diabolical Constellation has deemed the reissue fit for public consumption, packaging the reissue in a lavish digipak with accompanying liner notes (Stefan Gebedi?s contribution being a rather flimsy and contentious one?ah well). Much TLC has been invested into this project, and much kudos must be accorded to Mr Beuting (a death metal curator nonpareil) for resurrecting this nugget of history.

Countless spins later, I’m still having considerable difficulty in determining just which band I prefer more on this split- aesthetically the two bands are easily distinguishable and assertively individual, yet there is a stylistic commonality that unites them (the impossibly dark, obscure angle that both bands plough) and provides a seamless transition between both sides. Word has it that the immortal Thanatos and the Dutch Angel Dust (whom I have not heard) were also slated to be on this affair, and one can only imagine how their inclusion would have impacted these proceedings, but such fancies are, after all, irrelevant to this discussion. Like early Thanatos and Mysto Dysto, both Second Hell and Skullcrusher flaunt a post-Venom blackened trad metal edge to their frenzied, impetuous carnage, very much reminding me of kindred spirits like Heller, Vulcano, first album Running Wild, Kat, Sentence Of Death Destruction and the like.

Second Hell, in particular, exemplify that tumbling, charmingly rash (fire)brand of post-Welcome To Hell schizophrenia, the sort of cantankerous cacophony that could only be produced by a quintet of snot-nosed, brazen brats strung out on a dubious cocktail of “Die Hard” and youthful recklessness. Surely Side A will have its share of blue-blooded detractors, the type that laments garage-quality production values and “amateurish” execution, but seeing as how this hoity-toity faction of the heavy metal community misses the plot far more often than not, allow me to take the (much relished) opportunity to show them the door- if you don’t count yourself a fan of Obsessed By Cruelty, Sentence Of Death, Heller, Bloody Vengeance, War & Pain, The Day Of Wrath and the like, I’d suggest that you save yourself the embarrassment and sit this one out. This is not, of course, to suggest that Second Hell share that much in common with such esteemed company, all of whom are considerably more barbaric than Second Hell’s seamless synthesis of post-Venom caveman bludgeon and clumsiness with a literate, trad/speed edge that reflects a considerable debt to Iron Maiden. “Trench Devils” and “Homicide”, in particular, come off like early Poison after a Powerslave binge, TOTALLY bizarre and mindwarping stuff that walks the tightrope between hectic, riff-driven mania and totally-fucking-falling-apart-at-the-seams dementia. There is a sense of intricacy, subtlety and thoughtfulness throughout this side that the band juxtaposes with the casket-pounding, deceptively ungainly death/thrash that dominates Second Hell’s fare (witness, for example, the melodic break that composes “Face The Truth”’s hook section and intersects the breakneck sprint and somewhat haphazard riffing of the verse sections, as well as the thoroughly Maiden-ized twin guitar passage that closes the song, waltzing precariously atop pummeling, awkward double bass). The malevolent “Assignment To Kill” closes Side A, all flesh-flaying, bloodstained walls of guitar, Snake-esque howling and unapologetic, non-stop, chaotic percussion. Sheer madness, I tell you!

On to Side B, then, where Skull Crusher offers a more consistently coherent proposition that leans towards Future Tense, Gates To Purgatory Running Wild, Ripper and mid-period Death SS- top-tier horror-speed mayhem with, again, a healthy helping of Venom bulldozer brusqueness. “Hallelujah” is a veritable MASTERPIECE, ripped-to-the-tits Minotaur/Destruction/Assassin flavored high-octane Teutonic speed delivered with an EP-era Mercyful Fate brashness/attention-deficiency. “No Boundary For Hell” is psychotic singalong savagery, an unholy union of White Hell and Future Tense accented by a caterwauling, lengthy lead break, while “Massacre” is just totally WRECKED, inebriated, HELLISH and oppressive speed metal, pregnant with iniquitous Steve Sylvester-esque sermons and unabashedly gung-ho, awkward-yet-brilliant riff changes.

Yes, this is the sort of thing I LIVE for- strange, original and mysterious ‘80s metal that encapsulates and amplifies all the abandon and attitude of ‘80s underground metal. Collectors of esoteric obscurities and connoisseurs of impious, impudent and audacious sounds take note, your holy grail has now been made a hell of a lot easier to find, but you had better act quick, as this is STRICTLY limited to 500 copies and at press time, most of these have already found their way into the hands of hungry metalheads. Must-buy.

Nin Chan

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DC - CD001 Torment (Bel) - Forgive the Ignorant.


Written by chaossphere on September 29th, 2005 @ Metal Archives Prog-death done right - 87%

Experimentation in death metal can be a tricky game. Succeed, and you end up with masterpieces like Gorguts' "Obscura" and Immolation's "Here In After". Fail, and the result is steaming manure such as Morgoth or Atheist shat out on their final unmentionable releases. Fortunately for Torment, they've landed much closer to the first two examples mentioned here. Mixing up bludgeoning modern death metal with lashings of atmospheric passages and well-placed deviations into territory not usually explored in this genre, they've come up with a winner of a first CD. The trick is, every time they throw in an ambient passage, weird time signature, industrial-ish sampled bit or random piano interlude, there's always a hulking behemoth of a riff lurking around the corner, ready to smash a hole in your skull and fuck your jellied brain.

The production certainly helps here, being quite well polished but still rough enough to allow the violent guitar work to abrade the ears. Drums are obviously heavily triggered, but they're kept low enough to effectively propel the music without dominating the sonic picture. It also keeps the flow consistent when changing between keyboards and straight-up death metal, a facet which often makes or break this sort of thing. The production on the guitars, bass and vocals is kept quite dry and straightforward aside from occasional vocal effects, allowing the music to speak for itself rather than struggle through a haze of digital trickery. Speaking of which, the vocals are excellent, generally discernable mid-range growling which never transgresses into excessive gut-puking or screeching. Very similar to David Vincent's work on Morbid Angel's "Domination" album in that respect.

Overall, this definitely reminds of the aforementioned masters Gorguts and Immolation, so fans of those two bands would do well to investigate this album. It's melodic enough to keep even casual death metal listeners interested, yet vicious enough for connoisseurs of the genre to smash up their lounge furniture while blasting it on 11. Oh, did I mention the lyrics are rather interesting too? They mostly deal with insanity, philosophy and introspective melancholy, so you won't finy any "rip the anus of the freshly torn fetus and eat it's mothers dead cunt" here ;)

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Vampire Magazine

Do you believe in God? And do you believe in coincidence? Hell no, this can't be unforeseen. It seems Torment from Belgium must have lived under a stone for several years. The band released two demo CD's some years ago and I guess they were dead… Until now… "Forgive the ignorant" comes out of nowhere, but impresses me that much I am totally startled! The young Dutch label Diabolical Constellation did a great job signing these tormented souls. Throughout the whole album top quality death metal is all that hits you. I have never liked the newer Morbid Angel, but the way Torment take care of the Azagthoth styled rhythms and technical interpretation of how death metal should sound – I would like to check them out again and give them a second chance. Somehow the sphere I sense on "Forgive the ignorant" is quite referable to Immolation. Dissonant chords, technical riffs, unpredictable breaks and blastbeats alter each other throughout eleven painful songs. Just listen to "Expect my serpent Judas n°1". Besides fancy guitar work, it's vocalist Ullie Vandendriessche's remarkable deep throat pleasing my stereo rectum. And skinsman Nicolas Hernandez' beating style leaves a lot of drummers behind. With almost totally perfection he slaughters and butchers his instrument. I wonder how he will pull it off on stage. And that's my only little remark about this record. Recorded at the CCR studio it all sounds perfect, it does, only the drums are a bit too mechanical from time to time. When someone would state Torment use a drumcomputer I will not doubt it. But please forget it, do forgive me these ignorant thoughts. The production is just killer. Keep in mind this is the debut album for a rather young band. "Forgive the ignorant" places Torment amongst Aborted and Prejudice on top of the Belgian death metal scene, who's still growing bigger and better…

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Aardschok Mag

This Belgium band has either spend some years on another planet or has a rock solid belief in their own capacities. There are quite some bands on this earth called Torment, but to be honest this is probably the best. The band mixes influences of better American Death metal ( Morbid Angel, Suffocation) with doomy passages, resulting in a good varied CD with recognizable songs. The production, done by the band itself, is very good and makes this album an excellent listen. Torment is hard and technical enough to satisfy lovers of US Death Metal but offers more variation then most bands in the genre. Belgium is slowly becoming a strong Death metal Country.

82 / 100 Points

Stefan Gebedi

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Voices From The Darkside

The choice of their moniker wasn't necessarily TORMENT's most clever decision as we already have the unstoppable TORMENT from Germany for ages now... And as far as I can recall there was (is?) also at least one TORMENT overseas. Oh well, time will tell whether this is gonna cause some problems and / or confusion or not. Fact is, that the band we're dealing with here, is a five piece from Oostrozebeke (near Kortrijk) in Belgium, that got together in 1999 and released two demos ever since ("Sickening Obsessions" and "Hate Fulfilled" in 2000 and 2002 respectively). In 2003 they ended up being the winners of a band contest which gained them the support slot for DESTRUCTION and ALTAR and in 2004 they got the opportunity to play at the London Deathfest alongside VADER, CANCER, CADUCITY und CADAVEROUS CONDITION. All those experiences are pretty much evident on TORMENT's debut full length "Forgive The Ignorant", which is a very impressive musical statement to kick things off with on a more professional level after all!

The nine featured, brandnew tracks on offer have a very strong MORBID ANGEL overtone in the writing, which obviously means that we're dealing with rather brutal, US styled Death Metal on a high technical level here. The similarities to Trey Azagthoth's unholy horde are clearly shining through in the vocal department (frontman Ullie Vandendriessche delivers a very David Vincent influenced, yet convincing way of singing) and the songstructuring offers slow to midpaced riffing combined with several blasting parts and sick soloing.

The main difference to the Florida bunch can be found in a couple of quite moody / atmospheric parts, that were basically used in order to end songs with and that surprisingly fit into the overall very brutal offering incredibly well. The precise playing of drummer Nicolas Hernandez is rather scary though as it often comes incredibly close to a drum machine (especially his fast double bass parts sound quite unnatural to me) while the album's last song (a very Spanish sounding instrumental guitar piece entitled 'Ritmo Del Gringo'), is another impressive proof for the incredible musicial skills of the band.

An excellent, crystal clear, yet totally crushing production and a simple, but totally fitting sleeve design complete the overall very positive impression. So, next to their fellow-countrymen SUHRIM, EMETH, HEADMEAT and ORB OF TORTURE, TORMENT is without a doubt another great young band from Belgium to keep an eye on in the future!

Frank Stöver

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Metal Nightmare Zine

Don't confuse this TORMENT with the German thrash maniacs. This one plays somewhat technical death metal that hits the ground running immediately. Don't let that word "technical" put you off.... TORMENT may have a modern sound, but they're not technical for the sake of being so. Their songs do not sound like random collections of riffs. TORMENT have a strong American styled sound, drawing from the likes of MONSTROSITY, later MORBID ANGEL, and a little MALEVOLENT CREATION.
At the same time, they also draw off of parts of early SINISTER, VADER and DECAPITATED. They also know when to slow down and when to play fast, never falling into the trap of maintaining just one speed for an entire song. The simple fact of the matter here is that while TORMENT have a modern kind of sound going, as I listen to them, I'm also having the kind of feeling of excitement that I haven't had very much since the early 90s. That's really all I ever ask of a band, that they bring back those days with what they do. TORMENT deliver that to me spades. TORMENT are the kind of band that you have to listen to if you call yourself a fan of death metal. If you don't, you're doing yourself a disservice.


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Global Domination Sweden

Now this is an odd duck. The oft-abused and little-understood term progressive death might, for once, actually apply to these Belgian waffles. Thankfully, the progressive is integrated expertly, just enough to add extra whipped cream to the top of a massive breakfast pastry of death.
Also rare is the fact that this is a concept album, and it doesn’t really sacrifice the quality of the music to tell the story. As far as I can tell, somebody in Torment has a fixation on biblical themes, inversion of said themes, insanity, and some classy perverted gore. There’s lots of Part I’s and Part II’s, cleansing of sins, and general craziness.
Let’s talk about the tunes/the players of said tunes/my favorite Chinese food dish Cream of Sum Yung Gai. Each track has a unique character, though I swear a bludgeoning riff that first appears in “Job part I” returns several times throughout. There’s a healthy dose of fast but non-blasty death interspersed with heavy as fuck slower chunks, all of it on an airtight schedule. Time changes crop up, solos are few, and the verse-chorus-verse deal is oft defenestrated.
Normally, this would be the template for a good extreme metal album. What makes it interesting is ze Tormentors chuck in all sorts of nutty shit, perhaps to further the storyline. There is a spooky bit that sounds like a child’s music box, a hint of semi-electronica, sampled cries of the damned, even a fucken flamenco guitar section. Mmmm, caliente!
The vocals are fantastic – Vandendriessche really impresses me with his enunciation, timing, and the uniqueness of his nasty mid-range growl. Mix in some scratchy effects on his voice, a few whispers, and the occasional screech. Add Belgium. Stir until it reaches the consistency of shredded esophagus. The drummer is on point, perhaps a bit too much so. In other words, drumwork is neither natural nor organic. Or free-range. The guitars tear it up, summoning one sludgy Morbid Angel riff after the next, and turning on an extremely thin dime right into razor sharp speedy sections with little effort. And the aforementioned flamenco that makes up “Ritmo del gringo” is aces. The bassist follows the action and is pretty darn audible, considering. Seems like most bands feel the need to toss their bassist a bone from time to time, and let him have a little solo above the madness. Then they make fun of him behind his back. Bastards.
Last but not least, Cream of Sum Yung Gai is delicious. PM me if you want a taste, baby.
But what goes up into the sweet realms of eternal bliss must also descend into the dark realms of farty-smelling smoke. Not really. But the downside to “Forgive the ignorant” is that it gets a bit tiring sometimes. Their death metal assault in combination with multifarious malformed miscellaneousness turns stale on occasion. Nor is this “drink a beer, have a party, throw the horns, and take a dump” metal. Which is most of the metal I listen to, by the way. So you have to be in the right mood for it.
But if you’re in the mood (for love, simply because you’re near me), you too will be wondering what the fuck these fucktards have been up to since 2005. It ain’t everyday that a band comes along with fresh ideas and plenty of chops to see them through. Is “Forgive the ignorant” perfect? Not by a long stretch of my already prodigious member. But they deserve a solid 7.5 out of 10 and should really get to work on some new shit. If we can ever expect their serpent Judas part II, I bet I’ll be impressed.

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