"You’ve got to love gridcore, it’s really the only genre that can produce albums that clock in at less than 12 minutes and get away with it. Purely violent and unrelenting in its blast beats, Tower of Rome’s World War 1 settles in as one of the best acts grindcore has to offer as of late. Though hugging the norm for this genre, Tower of Rome have their own sound, comparable to Agoraphobic Nosebleed or Melt Banana, but is in no way derivative of these bands. The harshest of screams accompany guitar and bass played so fast that without paying close attention one would think that the CD was skipping, and all this follows percussion of the most blistering of speeds. World War 1 begins with 28 seconds of fury in “I Have to Tell You Something...I Eat Light Bulbs.” Tagging you quickly and then just as quickly darting into the shadows, this track is over before you even know what is going on. The stuttering breakdown toward the end flows perfectly in to the next track, giving the album a sense of fluidity. “Save Art; Kill an Art Kid” starts just as violently, but slows to let a good pit stir for just a moment only to throw you back into a panic after only seconds. It is this type of composure; the ability to spin your senses, never giving you time to breath that makes for a great grindcore album. As far as beginning with this style, this is probably not the record you should buy first. Checking out some Pig Destroyer or A.C. would be a more appropriate first experience. As this sound is somewhat of an acquired taste, most are not going to enjoy this record, just as they would not enjoy any record in this category. But for those take pleasure in the genre, World War 1 is a winner. Bringing a unique sound without forsaking any of the brutality, Tower of Rome have put together an album well worth picking up and keeping in a prime spot in your music collection."
"Illinois grind gurus Tower of Rome get all crusty and chaotic on your
unsuspecting ass on their eight-track excursion WORLD WAR I. Equipped with
blast beats and harsh bottom ends galore, throat-ripping screams, and the
kind of manic guitar and bass work that scares small kids and household
pets, with songs titled like “Save Art: Kill An Art Kid” in their arsenal,
Tower of Rome must be a hoot to witness live as well. WORLD WAR I is the
perfect soundtrack to piss off your neighbors, cause property damage, or
bang your head incessantly to."
"Tower Of Rome is one sick grind band: blast beats, vomit-inducing vocals,
and distorted-to-the-max guitars all in-check. Blistering by in a mere
eleven minutes, World War 1 is the follow-up to the band’s even-shorter 2004
full-length, All Is Lost. As the disc moves forward, the songs gradually get
longer. The opening cuts, “I Have To Tell You Something…I Eat Lightbulbs”
and “Do You Know What Divine Intervention Means?” exist merely as noise
before “Oh My God! He’s Got An Arm Off” takes off in a flurry of distorted
guitars before ending with a breakdown demon. “Two Dead Deer Plus One Dead
Asian Equals Lung Cancer” is simply brutal with its insane blast beats and
frenzied rhythms while “15 Year Olds Dude, 15 Year Olds” can be summed up as
exactly the same. The final two tracks are longer with even longer song
titles but offer the most structured (if you can say that) sounds on the
disc. The cleverly titled “This Message Will Surely Drain The Life From
Willing Participants” is easily one of the better tracks as it contains a
few highs and lows before ending with a mammoth breakdown.
Tower Of Rome’s music surely isn’t for the faint of heart, but then again,
what grind is? Fans of the typical leaders of the genre (The Locust,
Daughters) take note as Tower Of Rome’s buzz seems to be gradually building
out of their Illinois homeland. World War 1 is a short experience but one
that contains enough raw intensity to interest devoted grind fans."
"Tower of Rome hails from the midwest/Chicago area. They are an all out
grindcore/power violence assult! There is some crazy stuff in this album.
Lighting quick drum beats push this band to the limits of insanity. This is
defintely for people who dig bands like Melt Banana, The Locust, The
Ultimate Warriors, Spazz, Man Is The Bastard and Index For A Potenial
Suicide. This is a great grindcore/power violence album. It has above
average production quality for the this type of genre. The bands sound is
unique and solid. It even has some pretty decent mosh parts thrown in for
"With the band name Tower of Rome and a record called Word War I, you might
think you’re in for something epic.
Not the case: eight in 11:25. Grind purists should be warned of both
screamy vocals and "funny" song titles: for
everyone else, the last two tracks stretch out a little and summon legit
heaviness. The six shorter tracks that precede
them show a little less personality."
"When looking over a release with song titles such as "2 Dead Deer + 1 Dead
Asian = Lung Cancer" and eight tracks that span under twelve minutes, one
thought enters my mind: Aren't there enough of these bands already?
Acts such as the Locust and Daughters certainly popularized spastic
grindcore laden with obscure, tongue-in-cheek song titles. World War I is
typical of the genre as it features a collection of nonstop blastbeats,
whacky tempo changes, and frenzied, indecipherable screams. Heavily
distorted guitar riffs do little besides alternate between furious
discordance and ten second open chord breakdowns. Although the drumming is
impressive in its speed, it offers nothing in terms of diversity as there is
little that separates blastbeat from blastbeat. With similarities in vocals
and guitar tones, comparisons could easily be made to a more
grind-influenced From A Second Story Window.
Since Tower of Rome is a relatively young band, I deemed it necessary to
check out their debut EP to measure how they've progressed since the 2004
release of All Is Lost... To their credit, Tower of Rome displays a
measurable amount of improvement from their debut release. World War I
features more thoughtful riffs, smoother transitions, and proof that they
can write a cohesive song over one minute in length ("Does Your Friend Have
A Name." clocks in at an impressive two minutes and fifteen seconds!).
Bottom Line: If you're familiar with the whole "noisecore" genre, you pretty
much know what to expect from a band like Tower Of Rome. While World War I
isn't treading any new ground, it serves as a noteworthy progression from
Tower Of Rome's last effort and intimates that this band might have the
ability to do good things in the future if they fine-tune their songwriting
ability and decide to break the mold."
"Tower of Rome likes to play fast, angry and brutal as a knife in babies
crib. For those of you who like dirty evil mean grind, Tower of Rome is
going to make you really happy until the next Daughters album comes out.
However for the kids who haven’t heard a Pig Destroyer or Circle Takes the
Square record this isn’t the best place to start. If you fall into that
category, print out this review, keep it on your desk and go buy Pig
Destroyer’s Prowler in the Yard and absorb it. Then come back to where you
left this review and remind yourself to go buy this. If you already own
Prowler you really have no excuse for not checking this band out."
"Merging the ferocity of old with the irony and cynicism of new, bringing
Pig Destroyer hurtling headlong into clever, scene-kid-pleasing song titles
such as ‘I Have To Tell You Something...I Eat Light Bulbs' and discordant,
threatening time-signatures and tempo changes, Tower Of Rome absolutely
slay with their second outing. There's none of that dull, beatdown-ridden
pseudo-death metal garbage that gets passed off as grind now that sissies
are squeezing into child-sized Suffocation t-shirts, ‘World War 1' is
furious and discordant sonic carnage that at no point offers escape from the
hostility. Until of course it ends and it does so all too soon. Eight tracks in eleven
minutes leaves you dropped into silence like Timmy in the well just as
soon as you're getting into it. Impressively their debut was even shorter
so they're obviously taking it in baby-steps. It's a nice juicy little
morsel but if you're paying more than eight quid for it you're getting raped right
through the trousers and the bastard didn't even rubber up."
"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."