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Melodic death/thrash with a Dutch touch. - 85%

Egregius, March 18th, 2004

A band deemed as underrated by dutch deathmetallers Altar. And if any band should be considered experts on brutal agression in music, it's Altar. And I can't say I got dissapointed on their recommendation.

But when reviewing this review, I could say two things that would seriously belie this band's quality.

First is making the comparison to melodic death, commonly from Sweden and one city in particular. The music Blo.Torch makes is indeed describable as 'melodic death' (or in this case rather melodic 'death/thrash'), and Blo.Torch even hails Arch Enemy as the original masters in their thanks-list; but their music also stands miles above anything gothenburg. There's no drab rehashed ideas here. It has the familiar elements of twin guitar destruction (although I wouldn't typify them as buzzsaw guitars), alternating between almost percussive melody and groovy thrash riffs, a general up-temponess, and the harsh screams that go with it. But it also has a lot calmer, more held back passages; and the harsh screams are alternated with clean vocals and even low grunts.

Another thing I could say that would make people think this band isn't much while it definitely is, is that the underlieing emotions are agression and a form of angst. This immediatly summons up associations with with the forced mono-emotionalism of modern day crap music. Far from it, Blo.Torch seems to display agression following from frustration, not from failing to cope with modern day society, but from (personal?) dealings with relationships, friends and the sorts. Instead of a bland 'shout at society', this music not only seems more 'real', but is also a lot more varied.

Letting go of the comparisons, I can say Blo.Torch knows how to make good agressive music. This is the kind of music I like to listen to when I don't want to be disturbed. I can listen to this in the background, superficially listening to the brutal guitar riffs (the death metal aspect), or I can listen to this attentively, as there's a lot happening in each song. The latter would be the thrash-metal aspect, with the guitars mingling with eachother to create a rich texture, and almost below the surface you can hear the pretty interesting bassguitar-work (according to the booklet a fretless bass). And although the guitars don't relent much in the calmer passages, they're nice for the variation.