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Torch, an all Sweden heavy metal band, showed us what heavy metal was. When I first listened to this stuff I was blown away. I immediately thought of who or what I could compare this to, in case you've never heard it before and I could only think of one band. Iron Maiden, but ten times as louder and heavier. The riffs are simple and nothing technical, but extremely heavy. In fact, when the soloing comes in, I almost think of Mercyful Fate. The singing is just phenomenal. It has a lot of power to it; one minute it is really low, like an accented Blackie Lawless, then it rips into this high-pitched scream and you didn't know it was coming - it took you by surprise.
Like all short albums and EPs, I tend to review the songs individually and incorporate everything else. The first song Beyond starts off with a cool drum beat, which leads into a decent guitar riff. The riffs in this song (and on the album in general) are very 80's NWOBHM style. The drumming and guitar do some good stop and go rhythms, while the singer does some low, from the throat screams. Fire Raiser, the next song, has some better riffs in it, which reminds me of Hell Bent for Leather Judas Priest. However, here the production starts to lack. Right before the bridge it's hard to hear the vocals because the guitars are really loud.
The third song, Pain is different from the rest of the songs. It is similar to a metal ballad. Soft vocals during the verse with a clean guitar riff. Then a super heavy chorus follows with enough power to make you throw your fist in the air. What brings this song down is actually the singer. I think he could have done a lot better performance. This song, which is ballad like, could have used some high pitches to give it power, but all the high pitches come at the wrong spot -like during the solo. Mercenary is the highlight of this EP. The vocals shine on this song and make up for all the past mistakes. He goes into these laughs mixed with the throat scream into a super high pitched squeal. I have never heard something like this before, but it gives the song a good edge. Also the guitars and drumming do some good mixing on this song.
The last song Retribution, is a tad bit longer than the other songs. Again, a good track from the vocalist, and the best drumming and guitar riffs come from this song. If I was trying to sell this EP, I would play you these two songs...for me, listening to it on tape, it is side two. If you can get past the guitar distortion which is similar to Alice Cooper early 70's era, and you like NWOBHM style, this shit is for you.