Briefly pushing aside any obvious yet relevant comments on extreme metal’s chauvinist tendencies or the current wave of retro-thrash, Singapore’s Tormentress deliver a consistently strong record which could stake out interest from the old school if not reopen gender debates. Considering the number of token feminist bands who place emphasis on ideology over musicianship, such observations do not come lightly.
Tormentress‘ style is very much close to the band’s love of eightie’s thrash metal and crust, without necessarily copying their templates note for note. Marks of early Sepultura and Slayer can be found for instance, in their gashing raw riffs and frontwoman Neez’s shouted roars; yet it is the original aggressive rebelliousness which has translated over the most, than the rhythms alone. It is clear that the band are as serious about their music as they are about their opinions on women’s rights and gender lines – extreme metal and occasionally extreme politics (implied through verses like ‘all men keep all women in a state of fear’) may walk comfortably hand in hand; whatever the purpose.
Regardless, ‘Thrashing Disorder‘ seems to need that one extra push to feel even stronger than it already is. Whether this is due to the EP’s running time of just under thirteen minutes, or that Neez is very capable of sounding (and writing as) much angrier than she currently is; may be an issue to be answered by the time they release that previously mentioned full album.