Imagine catching a beating on Staten Island. You take the train all the way to the southern tip of Manhattan, wait in line to board the ferry, make the 25-minute voyage, start walking down Bay Street, and then out of nowhere, two pairs of brothers take turns pounding your torso into ground chuck. That’s essentially what it feels like to listen to Victims of Vile Torture, the debut album by Tombstoner. It’s gonna be a long ferry ride back.
The pairs of brothers in question are Dan and Thomas Megill and Jesse and Jason Quinones, all Staten Island lifers and disciples of the Cannibal Corpse school of face-smashing death metal. They started Tombstoner in 2019 and released their first EP, the lean, mean Descent to Madness, a year later. Now, Decibel is thrilled to premiere a full album stream for Victims of Vile Torture, which drops this Friday on Redefining Darkness.
While Tombstoner are primarily interested in kicking your ass, Victims has a few tricks up its sleeve. The first indication comes in the form of an exclamation point of stabbing, Bernard Herrmann-esque strings at the end of the opening title track. The violin returns several times on the album, most notably on brooding, atmospheric late album highlights “Armageddon” and “Trepidation.” Elsewhere, the band flits between passages of convincing Cannibal Corpse worship – note the tongue-in-cheek presence of both Vile and Torture in the album title – and paroxysms of tough-guy hardcore and chunky, mid-’90s groove metal. As the band explains in a statement below, this is death metal built for the stage, and it should thankfully only be a matter of time before we get to hear it the way it was meant to be heard.
“With piss and vinegar in our veins from being sidelined from the pandemic three months after we started, we wrote 10 angry bangers that serve as a collective middle finger from the whole group. This album was designed with the live show in mind. Our mission is to bring the heaviest and rawest energy to the stage. And somewhere in the midst of writing this album, we flipped the script and came to the firm decision that this is what we are going to do with the rest of our lives (as documented in the lyrics of Fractured Souls). The lyrical content ranges from societal critiques & introspection to beating the fuck out of someone with a sledgehammer! Overall, the lyrics focus on standing up and taking life into your own hands. This album is us staking our claim into the soil of the global death metal scene, and will certainly not be the last you hear from these 4 motherfuckers from Staten island…It’s only the beginning.”