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Tower of Rome Review

by Hobo

Tower of Rome - All is lost, all is lost, all is yet to be found
Genre: Grindcore
Label: He Who Corrupts Inc.
Rating: 76%
Year: 2004

Welcome to Tower of Rome's debut MCD; eleven songs in nine and a half minutes. Of course, no band could pull off songs or an album so short unless it was ridiculously dense and intense; which is definitely the category this release falls into.

I recently reviewed Tower of Rome's new MCD World War One (2006), and to be honest, I prefer this album. The riffs seem more varied, there are more powerful sections of violence and hardcore punk overtones, and there are a few neck snapping grooves to make the crushingly metallic assault just a tad less agonizing.

Production wise, the guitars are a bit more clean, the drums less natural and the vocals very, how should I put this, seagull-ish. Down our way this is what we'd term seagull grind, where the vocalist intentionally puts on the most f***ing annoying and ear-piercing type of high yelping vocals possible. Could this be what Tower of Rome intended?

Anyway, this release is an adrenaline soaked sonic assault; very impressive for a first release. On the next album we will see Tower of Rome adopt a decidedly more abrasive, dense and dissonant production and riffing style; which personally I don't enjoy quite as much as this. The vocals however are an extremely welcome change from seagull-ary to indiscernible power violence type shrieks (the type that don't make you cringe every time the vocalist makes a noise).

Check out the band at www.myspace.com/towerofrome to hear a few of their tunes. If you're into spazz-grind or powerviolence you might be glad you listened to me.

Tower of Rome - World War 1
Genre: Spastic grindcore
Label: He Who Corrupts Inc.
Rating: 74%
Year: 2006

This is the first time I've ever heard Tower of Rome. Their record label He Who Corrupts Inc. who were nice enough to send me over this MCD alongside their previous release All Is Lost, All Is Lost, All Is Yet to be Found.

This is straight up, spazz grindcore in the vein of old Pig Destroyer with hints of Discharge. That means there are a lot of disjointed start/post passages, flat out blast beats with some choppy, abrasive segments in between. The vocals are a mix of nonsensical, indiscernible power-violence type screams and ear piercing upper midrange shrieks. The guitar tone, like the vocal style, is very sharp, indistinct and piercing while the drums and bass chug along beneath.

The big change from their debut MCD is that the guitar riffing is decidedly noisy and dissonant. Every element of the band has taken a categorically abrasive turn. The frantic structuring of songs is such that just as you work out one riff, two more have already kicked in. There are a few odd tempo changes and a couple of more mid-paced passages and breakdowns. That being said, the group is definitely more about battering intensity then building up any kind of a groove. The song titles reflect said insanity, with names like I have to tell you something... I eat lightbulbs and Two dead deer + one dead asian = lung cancer.

This is a decent release, and to be sure the drummer is quite impressive in terms of his blasting and double kick work. If you're into inconsequential spastic grindcore then chances are this will suit you fine. I'm of the opinion this band could be excellent with a little more structural development to make the songs more memorable, and seem like they actually have a point. Maybe the issue is this is merely an MCD. I won't pass definitive judgment on the band, they definitely have potential, I just don't believe they've reached it yet.

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