Saturday, October 23, 2010

Torche - Meanderthal (2008)

Most likely due its lack of accessibility, metal doesn't get a whole lot of attention on this blog. Of course we don't just dismiss it as a universally insignificant genre like some ignorant, pompous fruitcakes, but there are a lot of great metal bands making great albums out there that deserve some attention. Which brings me to Torche, a nice little sludge outfit from Miami. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term 'sludge' in music, it's a kind of jacked-up grunge. It's also highly accessible. If you're issue with metal is the hideous vocals or the overly fast-paced rhythm, then here's your fix.

Meanderthal, Torche's second album, follows the trend set by their self-titled debut (and later EPs) as being a fast-paced record with short tracks for the bulk of the album followed by a more lengthy songs towards the end of the record. Opening track 'Triumph of Venus' opens with a bang, as a metal album should, with heavily distorted guitars and banging drums. An intense instrumental, it does well to grab the attention of the listener. For metal-wary listeners this might not be an instant favorite, but it's only 1:44 and the album takes a much different tone with the following track 'Grenades', a much slower-paced song with melodic guitars and vocals to match. And this becomes an ongoing theme for the album, varying tempos from song to song, which works well because the songs are so short. And the longer songs on the album tend to combine the fast-paced nature of the shorter songs with long solos or bridges, which should be a pleaser for the more metal-oriented fans.

Do you like Grunge? If so, then you might like Torche. Do you like 'Stoner rock' like kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age? If so, then you might like Torche. Do you like metal? If so, then you very well might like Torche. And if you aren't a fan of the typical metal vocalist, well this might just be all the more sweeter.

Try it
Buy it
Video - Across the Shields

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