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