“Tank Gasmask Ammo” is one of those albums where you know pretty much what every song is going to sound like before you even get to the end of the second track. Sure enough, it’s a standard take on the hybridization of death metal and grindcore. Mixing death metal’s chunk and groove with grind’s speed and savagery, Those Who Bring the Torture fire off thirteen economical and well assembled, if not exactly overwhelming, artillery shells.
Appropriately, the album shudders, lurches, and charges along like the loosely maintained mechanized killing machine suggested by the title. And like the crew of a tank, Those Who Bring the Torture have only one view of the battlefield available to them: straight ahead. These death dealers are too busy annihilating to be distracted by niceties like texture or subtlety. This chugging monster was built with brutal efficiency in mind, with little attention paid to accoutrements that make driving around in a cramped war wagon tolerable. Just about the only exceptions to the single-minded beatdown are the short bursts of lead guitar that come much too infrequently, and the unwelcome samples that crop up at random.
Those Who Bring the Torture would have made things much easier for me if this was a totally crappy album. Then I could have made some witty remark about their name, and how the music was torture, and…well, you get the point. The band, though, went and made a perfectly sufficient death/grind hybrid. “Tank Gasmask Ammo” doesn’t conquer any new territory, but if it’s a reliable occupation of a familiar metal ground you’re looking for, you could do a lot worse.