Into the Void Records USA [PERMANENTLY CLOSED]

St. Paul, Minnesot'as True Metal Record Store (RIP as of Dec. 24, 2015)

Death Metal Monday, A to Z: TORCHURE

none so germanGerman death/doom insanity on this Death Metal Monday with TORCHURE and their 1992 debut Beyond the Veil!

Much like their countrymen in the previously reviewed FLESHCRAWL, TORCHURE practice an often plodding, deliberate style of death metal that provided a refreshing break from the hordes of speed-freak imitators and generic DEICIDE or ENTOMBED clones of the day.  And besides, can you think of another band to have not one, but TWO pairs of brothers die following their recording duties?  Strange but true, and unfortunate, as this band’s short career clearly suffered for it.  RIP.  As a fitting tribute, treat yourself to a listen to their immortal earthly legacies with the stream below.

A lovely mix here.  From an overwrought (but quite enjoyable) atmospheric keyboard intro we fall directly into some murky doom/death crawl bathing in morbidity with a touch of melody acting as savior. TORCHURE play the slow and straight hand to start, doing their best keyboard-laden ASPHYX impression, before detouring with an up-tempo jam and falling back to earth to close things out.  They then burst through the thrashgates with “Abysmal Malevolence,” showcasing some excellent vocals, exciting tempo changes and nimble fluidity in songwriting in the process.  The riffs tend to be bludgeoning and power-chord heavy at all times, but TORCHURE vary them smartly and throw enough at you to wrest your brain from withering in apathy.  The Rick Rozz whammy bar orgies reserved for the faster parts complete the old school DEATH/ASPHYX style package feel quite nicely.

Through the remaining tracks TORCHURE conjure enough textures and soundscapes to keep the surprises coming, making them more interesting for me than some of their more humdrum death metal peers (think MORGOTH, for a good example close to home).  “Mortal at Last” is another comically theatrical keyboard track that somehow still works for me, at least, as a nice break from the ringing distortion.  YMMV though.  TORCHURE are even kind enough to treat us to some mournful, MY DYING BRIDE-style epic wandering on tracks like “Resort to Mortality” and in smaller doses on “Apathetic,” “Depressions” and elsewhere.  There’s definitely a bit of something here to please all old-school fanatics.

This era of death metal has certainly received enough attention in the last five or so years that it’s a bit surprising TORCHURE haven’t gained much traction beyond their already cult following.  Holland’s Vic Records, who have reissued PHLEBOTOMIZED among other regional classics, put this one out on disc not in late 2013 and gave the second disc The Essence a similar treatment a short time later.  Both albums sound great and I encourage you to track them down if you’ve enjoyed everything you’ve heard.  Let us know if you’re looking for more and we’ll be glad to help as well!



4 comments on “Death Metal Monday, A to Z: TORCHURE

  1. Passenger
    March 24, 2015

    A good, descriptive review. Nothing more to add, as both of their albums are classics. As much as I respect Vic Records, I feel like Torchure deserved being re-released by a bigger label, like Century Media, because that way, they would reach much more people.

    On letter T I also recommend Thanatos, Timeghoul, and Traumatic (Sweden).

    There was also a german (one-man) band called Traumatic Voyage that released a REALLY weird Death Metal album (called sometimes “DM on drugs”) named simply “Traumatic…”. The project moved later into more Black Metal horizons.

    Morgoth has an interesting story, one that should be told someday in an article…
    Suffice to say, their farewell album “Feel Sorry for the Fanatic” was a deliberate jab at the metal scene… Which seems ironic considering their reunion.

    • Neil
      March 24, 2015

      Thanks! Great alternative choices. I almost mentioned Century Media as a good way to have gotten the TORCHURE name out there. With some of the recent obscurities they’ve peddled it wouldn’t have been totally out of character for them at least.

      The MORGOTH story reminds me of the PESTILENCE one, with all the shit-talking Patrick Mameli did before bowing out of the genre and later reuniting in a more old-school guise as if his slander never happened. Every 15-20 years seems to be the cycle…


  2. Passenger
    April 2, 2015

    In regards to Pestilence, one thing that should be mentioned, is that the reason the band reunited at all (at least IMO), was a lot due to the (now defunct) fansite (maybe even fanclub?), called “lake of tears”, which existed around 2001-2008, and was when I also got my first taste of the band.

    When Mameli discovered this fansite himself, he was very surprised how big and respected the band was among the metal circles. I remember how initially he was VERY against the idea of the reunion (not to mention that people who asked him about it pissed him off), as he was giving some short interviews and news regarding his then-current projects that later turned out to be unsuccessful.

    The point is, in interviews after the reunion, he had never once shown some gratitude, respect for these fans, who kept the name alive, and gave Pestilence exposure, but quite the opposite, he had a VERY rockstar attitude and ego (you can watch some of these interviews on youtube).

    Just my 2 cents. I didn’t want to start a discussion, but I do think that credit should be given when credit is due.

    And cheers too.

    • Neil
      April 4, 2015

      I didn’t follow a lot of the minutiae of the PESTILENCE revival so I appreciate the backstory. Doesn’t surprise me much at all, particularly with how uninspired the new material is. I’ll be sure to watch an interview or two just to solidify that opinion!

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