What’s this? A goregrind band that doesn’t sing about gore? Germany’s The Creatures From The Tomb (henceforth referred to as TCFTT) play groovy goregrind in the vein of Cock and Ball Torture, The Day Everything Became Nothing and Cliteater, but their songs are not about zombies or hacking people up or having sex with corpses. Instead, TCFTT mine their subject matter from classic black and white horror films, such as The Phantom of the Opera and Creature from the Black Lagoon.
Indeed, the nefarious, love-struck Gill-Man from the Devonian age is the star of the band’s debut full-length, The Terrifying Menace; it’s essentially a concept album re-telling the story of Universal Studios’ aforementioned 1954 classic Creature from the Black Lagoon. The Gill-Man has been my favorite Universal monster ever since I was a kid, so the minute I saw the cover art and song titles like “Black Lagoon Monster” and “Rotenon Assault” I felt like this album had my name written all over it.
As previously stated, TCFTT’s stock in trade is a familiar type of goregrind, but their take on this tried ‘n’ true subgenre is one of the catchiest I’ve heard; sure, these songs are heavier than a fleet of bulldozers plowing through the Amazonian rainforest, but they’re also loaded with chunky riffs and catchy grooves that’ll lodge themselves in your skull like the Gill-Man’s webbed claws.Production-wise, The Terrifying Menace sounds great; clear and crisp so as to accentuate the bottom-heavy riffs. Indeed, the guitar tone is about as thick and crunchy as it gets, making it the highlight of the mix, while the gurgling, watery vocals can’t help but make one wonder if it isn’t the Gill-Man himself behind the mic. I’ve heard albums from much bigger bands that didn’t sound nearly as good as The Terrifying Menace does, which speaks volumes about TCFTT’s commitment to professionalism and attention to detail.
The Terrifying Menace isn’t going to win the award for most original album of 2018, but its choice of subject matter, solid songwriting and good production values do make for a fresh take on goregrind. A great find for fans of extreme music and classic horror, as well as for those that appreciate the sound of goregrind but are turned off by it’s visual and lyrical emphasis on deviance and splatter.