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Torso - A Crash Course in Terror Award winner

A Crash Course in Terror
by Ashely O'Brien at 13 January 2023, 12:47 AM

TORSO has arrived on the sludge metal scene with its debut album, “A Crash Course In Terror.”  The solo project of former POSSESOR frontman Graham Bywater, joined occasionally by the album’s producer Graham Adams on keyboard, this delightful escapade provides the perfect combo of campy horror and heavy metal. This album will be released the end of January 2023 via APF Records, and features two singles, “Precious Blood” and “Heads Start to Roll.”

The album starts with a bang with the single “Heads Start to Roll,”  a delicious title for a band going by TORSO. The stage is set for this horror crash course with an enchanting minute-long intro of spooky keyboards reminiscent of 80s horror movies. before getting into the actual song. The song itself is a fun, fluid headbanger that conjures up the memory of early 90s metal without sounding dated. Graham Bywaters vocals hit a sweet spot, as he belts out campy lyrics with a robust sound that brings it all together.

“Precious Blood,” the first single, is another excellent banger that keeps true to the feel of old horror movies and heavy metal while sounding original and interesting. This song also includes an excellent bridge starting at 2:36 that carries through to the end, and elevates the track to another level. Finally, “Circuit Breaker Breaker” ends the album with an even heavier sound, sure to get fans banging their heads. The song features some special effects and lots of audio clips that add to the creepy, horror movie vibe while never relenting its musicality.

The music is engaging, powerful and fun, but unfortunately, there’s just so little of it. The album comes in at under 30 minutes. To add to that, “Pranks,” “Depth Charge,” and “Death TV” can only be described as filler. At about two minutes each, these three songs take nearly 6 minutes of the album, and they’re not that good. It’s not that they’re bad, or even out of place- they definitely sound like background music or part of a soundtrack for a horror movie. But they’re not special - and TORSO is special. Every great album leaves fans hungry for more, but this one doubly so.

“A Crash Course In Terror” lives up to its name and is sure to delight listeners.

Songwriting: 9
Musicianship: 10
Memorability: 10
Production: 10

5 Star Rating

1. Heads Start to Roll
2. Pranks
3. Sinking Spell
4. Depth Charge
5. Precious Blood
6. Death TV
7. Circuit Breaker Breaker
Graham Bywater – Vocals, Instrumentation
Wayne Adams– Keyboards
Record Label: APF Records


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Edited 04 February 2023

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