Tombstone, 'Demo' (2022)

As if Atlanta wasn’t hot enough, here comes Tombstone, yet another raging hardcore band reppin’ the 404.

With their self-released demo in the horizon, the Georgian horde have arrived fully formed. From the grave to the streets, Tombstone is here. 

A side “Blood from Blood” is a fearsomely intense ante up into their already vibrant local scene. Case in point is the air raid guitar squeal at the 30-second mark.

However small a flourish, it essentially trumpets a warning for the bludgeoning breakdown that follows.

It’s a heady mix of latter-era Integrity reimagined as beatdown. Just when they’ve mastered their slow and low pugilistic style, they segue at the song’s midpoint:

Not to be outdone by their less pacy instincts, they excel with double time and cranking up the bpm’s. That tempered chug evolves into an equally satisfying, stampeding charge. I was ill prepared for the intensely bellicose one liner “You stupid sack of shit…” It’s absolutely dripping with contempt.

Clearly eschewing poetics for blunt force intimidation, the cherry on top is a cheat code that messer hands would be wise to head. They yell the band name in the song, a simple trick that elevates a bruiser into a keeper. Tell me, friends… what do you want on your Tombstone? 

Photo: Drew Amandolia

The flip side is perhaps even more intriguing. At three and a half minutes, “2mbstone” opens things up a bit. Opening on an epically triumphant guitar riff, it’s the sonic equivalent to vanquishing a long held foe. The first few moments feel akin to the modern kings in Mindforce. It quickly devolves into a tightly wound mid-pace. In the favorite riffs of the year category, the endlessly churning and nasty riff at the minute mark is a vicious and instantly memorable one.

Taking the front seat here are the backing vocals, which are tastefully employed across the entire track, vacillating between a burly bellow and crazed barker. The band manages a rhythmic bounce and street-wise groove akin to Pain of Truth, SPEED, or Gridiron. Though a brief and fleeting flourish, the double bass passage near the end feels devastating. As a side note, record wherever this band did, because they did it right.  

This band hits as hard as the entire Falcons defensive line. That said, Go Ravens. 

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