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Torche – Restarter

Jan 16 • Articles, Reviews, The Slumbering Ent • 4796 Views • No Comments on Torche – Restarter

Mohammad Kabeer reviews the brand new album from Torche titled Restarter, released via Relapse Records.



Artwork by John Santos

Torche is one of my favorite sludge metal bands. I really like their sound.

I was quite fond of their last album, even though   it turned a lot of people off due to the addition of synths and a pop like  vibe to the album,  but that didn’t really bother me as I thought  that was what Torche  was all about and it was a pretty fun and energetic  piece of music. I was expecting more of the same from them this time as well,  but I guess things are not always  how they seem.

Torche have always been known for bringing a more easy going  “happy” side to sludge metal, which   is more at home with Smashing Pumpkins and Mudhoney  than  Eyehategod and Crowbar(or even   early Mastodon for that matter) , although they are not the only  band  who is doing that, maybe not even the first, in my opinion they do this the best. Over here I can see(or hear in this case ) that  the band wants to move away  from that , yet still hold on to its roots. This time  around Torche  lose much of their frantic positive energy  to  slow  hypnotic   guitar riffs that build up slowly as the  song progresses. This can be exemplified in Annihilation Affair and Barrier Hammer both of  which have some really harsh  noisy rumbling bass guitar which I didn’t expect from  Torche at all.  Indeed there are quite a few faster tracks here as well like Loose Men and Undone   which also has some of that crushing bass guitar, but these seem to be more of a distraction this time. The production  itself is much more gritty than their other albums.  Now I like  the fact that  the band  is trying to sound different with every release, I even enjoyed their doom-ier  songs,  but this direction  puts them in a very precarious position, as what they are doing here can be found in so many other  sludge bands today. While trying to  evolve they have lost so much  of what was truly their own.

All in all , this  made me really miss Harmonicraft and Meanderthal and head back to those albums. Torche is in a very   interesting place right now,  they are about to burst open  and evolve into something new, maybe something revolutionary. It’s just that I am not really sure if I am ready for that.

RATING : 2/5

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