Restarter Album Review
I liken Torche’s music to dredging a swamp full of corpses in tutus…
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Or… Southern Gothic glitter….
Or… Monsters puking rainbows sitting on clouds…. which is appropriately the album art off the previous Torche album, “Harmonicraft”
Whatever vision one has of Torche, the general consensus is that they have found a way to marry the bludgeoning, sludgiest dirge metal, with a toe tapping, head bopping, pop mastery that would hold Katy Perry hostage. I have to admit that my opinion is biased and they have become one of my favorite bands.
Hailing from the swampy madness that is Florida they seemingly, knowingly or not, have invented a new genre dubbed “doom pop.” I’m not one for genres but I am happy about this one, because there is no argument with what bands belong, there is only one…
Torche’s 4th full length record, among their many EP’s, is full of what makes them exciting, forging a road for bloody unicorn metal. A low-end record, that erupts into chaos only to be spun back into a tightly tuned tornado, with sing-along options turned to 11. Restarter is also what it sounds like, a step away from the sing-along of Harmonicraft back to the band’s first down-tuned tempos.
The record opens with the bruising “Annihilation Affair” which could have been a B side on previous record “Hellion” and lurks along on Steve Brook’s formidable, and manly, baritone.
“Bishop in Arms” follows a driving percussion that seems to push the rest of the band to keep up and “Minions” offers a fluid foundation to ride on. “Loose Men” gives us an insight into Andrew Elstner’s guitar work, and the band’s tongue-in-cheek sensibility.
And so on… From “Loose Men” to “Barrier Hammer”, this is the yin of heavy and the yang of happy that is spoken in parallel with Torche. And a void missing in rock and metal music today. Similar bands take themselves, and their metal, way seriously, and sometimes that’s OK. Torche knows that… and they acknowledge it…they poke fun at themselves, and they move on… giving the listener a different perspective, sometimes without the listener even knowing it, which is what good musicians, and good artists, are challenged with doing in the first place.
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