On the face of it, Tombstoner have got a lot going for them. Rooted enough in the old school to get the respect of old heads like me, yet with enough touches of modernity to keep the young ‘uns coming back for more, the world would appear to be their death metal oyster… Does new album Rot Stink Rip fulfil the early promise of debut full length Victims of Vile Torture?

Of course it does. How could an album called Rot Stink Rip be anything other than an over-the-top, gonzoid success? I was moved enough to proclaim that 2021 debut a ‘gut-bucket glory ride’, and I’m not hearing anything on this new slice o’hatred to suggest I may have been a touch hasty in my prognostications. Any band that can produce nuggets of death metal as perfect as Reduced To Hate, this album’s coruscating standout, is a band to be reckoned with, but there’s clearly more to this band than just the belching out of straight up, standard issue death.

Fuckin’ Nasty adds a big dollop of hardcore to the mix, for instance – take your ear of the ball for a second and you might think you’ve put Madball on by mistake, whilst Compulsive Ruminations goes completely the other way to wallow in some spritely prog wallop that sees the band maturing rapidly. But that maturation, I’m pleased to report, doesn’t come at the expense of the band’s wild-eyed x-factor, which is still thankfully all present and correct on ragers like Desperate Dreams.

The brothers Megill and Quinones have cemented themselves as a real force of nature in the death metal arena with this album, a band for whom the sky would appear to be the limit, and it’s exciting to contemplate what they might come up with for full-length number three. For the moment, however, they’ve given us something very exciting to occupy us in the here and now – thanks guys!

Rot Stink Rip is out now.