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Torii – Torii Award winner

by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 08 March 2022, 1:35 PM

From Bandcamp, “Apocalyptic Black/Death Metal project TORII returns after three years of silence with a new, self-titled album. The album sees TORII reverting back to its original form as a solo-project, masterminded by multi-instrumentalist Bill Masino. Though Black and Death Metal are core elements, the basic description doesn't quite capture the breadth of the music, colored as it is with Post-Metal grays and streaks of Doom. TORII has created yet another masterwork of oppressive darkness and an intensity that burns continually.” The album contains eight tracks.

“The Second Renaissance” is the first track. It opens with a very heavy and slow sound with some background ambiance. Double bass drums and vocals enter, and they are dark and foreboding. It slows to clean guitars with a somber tone in the middle, finishing on the heavy tones it began with. “Synthetic Dust” also opens with a crushing sound…the sound of your dreams being crushed into dust. Guttural vocals clash with eerie lead guitars and the lumbering sound continues until a long fade-out at the end.

“Persephone” is an instrumental with about as depressing a sound as you can imagine. Orchestral strings provide much of the dejected sound, along with some steady acoustical guitar notes. But it also capitalizes on the hidden beauty found within the darkness…keep searching…it’s out there. “Eurydice” is another slow, Doomy sounding track with lead guitar notes climbing above the concrete muck of the rhythm section. Spacey keyboards enter, accenting the ambient sound. “Grey Expanse” could be a fitting album title. It chronicles a subject’s life who is lost and looking for answers, but all he can find is a grey expanse. In this sense, your life has no meaning. “Hopeless in this maze…impossible to choose…faltering, aimless…I press on” he utters.

“Void” is the second instrumental, beginning with soft and easy tones, like you are easing into outer space for the first time. The vastness of the universe becomes evident, and you feel as small as an ant compared to the billions of stars that are so far away. “Inertia” is “a property of matter by which it continues in its existing state of rest or uniform motion in a straight line, unless that state is changed by an external force” in physics. It opens with some heavy bass and drum thuds in a rhythmic manner. Guttural vocals cut through the air like a bolt of lightning through thick storm clouds. The clouds gather once again and blot out the sun.

The title track closes the album. It speaks of freedom…of breaking free from guidance. Our life if ours to choose. Oppressive and punishing, the album simply won’t let you enjoy one more minute of your life. I am not sure which if more decisive…the guttural vocals or the impossibly heavy guitar riffs. Either could annihilate you in the blink of an eye. Yet, there is also a message of hope. The fires will glow for eternity.

Songwriting: 10
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 10
Production: 7

4 Star Rating

1. The Second Renaissance
2. Synthetic Dust
3. Persephone
4. Eurydice
5. Grey Expanse
6. Void
7. Inertia
8. Torii
Bill Masino – All Instruments
Record Label: Groupies


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