Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Album Review - Torche

Torche – Meanderthal
[Hydra Head/Robotic Empire 08/04/2008]

Torche are yet another act that associate themselves with the alternative metal bunch kicking around these days. Although fishing in similar waters to their contemporaries, Torche seem to pilfer various parts from their metal cohorts, embedding these ideas into a fist full of sounds. Torche release Meanderthal; their second album, which once again to conveys a concept that the natives from Florida refuse to be pinned down or aligned to static a proportion.

The opening title track catches you completely off-guard, with it's dooming instrumental force posing the question of whether you're listening to the right band or not. 'Amnesian' is a little slow out of the box, with a bruising sludge vibe embellished through its core rather than the melodic seasoning one associates with this band.

We've established that Torche are at their best when they employ melody into their sound. 'Fat Waves','Across the Shields' and the album's highlight, 'Grenades', are true evidence to this notion. 'Sandstorm' draws from swelling riff-o-rama and space within the rhythm section presenting another strong trait for Torche.

Meanderthal zig-zags through various sub-genres, with metal the main aspect rooted down in Torche's resume of sound. Somewhat displaying an array the hard-nosed riffs, and melodic rhythms, had the band stuck to these basics from the outset instead of haphazardly experimenting with so many sub-genres in such a short space of time, things may have run more smoothly, resulting in one enjoying this album a little more.

By Simon K

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