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Torture Killer - Phobia

Torture Killer
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 27 May 2013, 12:09 PM

Started as a joke, and turned into a hellish career. I believe that in the past I heard that same story, but who cares really? If that deathly Cinderella tale became something to be proud about, who am I to criticize? The manifestation of loosened old school Death Metal music into the putrid clean air should be regarded with a measure of prejudice. Since my youth days I have always assumed that there is a certain way for the foundation of true ghastly and revolting Death Metal music. Of course that nowadays you will find a selection of methods and skills to produce a Death Metal album, but the question is if it will be good enough for the old guards’ sympathizers. TORTURE KILLER from the land of the Finns, friends playing pairings of SIX FEET UNDER and OBITUARY for the thrill of it, began assembling their machinery for the hunt, the quest for old school recognition, back to the mangling traditions of proper Death Metal music made by American and British hands. “Phobia”, via Dynamic Arts Records, steps up to the plate as the band’s fourth album, these guys have been around and they know their craft and the attitude along with it.

Truthfully, I haven’t heard anything on this release that made me rock in my chair of amazement. Nonetheless, “Phobia” was a bloody hell of a headbanging journey for nearly forty minutes of fortune and painful neck. Simplicity is the key on this one, with as much less surprises, and there were. TORTURE KILLER aren’t that talented musicians when it comes to providing out of the blue arrangements and meticulous guitar riffs, yet they knew how to connect the dots well with barrage of old school grinding rhythm guitar riffing that satisfied my deprivation for a taste of onslaught, haunting lead fretwork when available, assorted tempos, ambiguous mishmash of American meets British Death Metal of the golden age in the range of early DEATH, BENEDICTION, MORBID ANGEL, BOLT THROWER, OBITUARY and early SIX FEET UNDER, also I wouldn’t deject SLAYER out of the equation. Furthermore, the sound engineering, by the idle hands of Santeri Salmi, reminded me of the early 90s and late 80s, ohh the glory days my friends, so missed.

My personal tasty digest of “Written in Blood”, featuring SIX FEET UNDER / ex-CANNIBAL CORPSE infamous guttural lord, Chris Barnes, seemed so distant from the album’s brutalized atmosphere. It entered with a sort of an Hard Rock intro, kind of weird, but then continued in such a gratifying BENDECTION / SIX FEET UNDER deathly groove, open chords and charring lead guitar melodies. Not what I would expect from such as straightforward piece of work, but it actually was a breath of fresh air. “March Of Death” swimming in blood, felt like an extreme Doom manipulation, in the area of “Lost Paradise” via PARADISE LOST, yet also burning with a MORBID ANGEL blasphemous clergy, I just couldn’t stop headbanging to those rhythms and less be amazed by the lead guitar fast tremolo picking. “Voices”, another unexpected turn of events, not what I would call such a classic Death Metal intro, but it was quite interesting, hazy in the uproar of “Written In Blood”. Nonetheless, that same melodic Hard Rock faded away fast for slow tempo blistering ignition of blue collar Death Metal riffery. There were a few signs of the Death N’ Roll act of SIX FEET UNDER, whether due to the drum rhythms or the lead tremolo played licks. Naturally, it was hard to pass such an atmospheric veil under the Death Metal routine. If you wish for outdone remains, you might cling to the notorious bastards of “The Book of Dying World” and “Devils Reject”.

In a nutshell, TORTURE KILLER is an old school Death Metal knowledge ready to burst into your lives, let it in and it might show you a few tricks up its sleeves, enter the realms of your worst fears.

4 Star Rating

1. Devil's Reject
2. Phobia
3. Await His Third Arrival
4. Written in Blood
5. Faces of My Victims
6. March of Death
7. The Book of Dying World
8. Epitaph
9. Voices
Pessi Haltsonen - Vocals
Jari Laine – Guitars / Backing Vocals
Tuomas Karppinen - Guitars
Kim Torniainen - Bass
Tuomo Latvala - Drums

Chris Barnes – Vocals (“Written In Blood”)
Record Label: Dynamic Arts Records


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