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I’m just going to preface this by echoing Daemo’s sentiments about any possible bias that one may sense during this review. But seriously, I’m going to try to keep it as non-partisan as possible.
First of all, we all know Torture Division. You’re at Global Domination’s neck of the woods, so that much should be pretty obvious. If you don’t, well, first you’re retarded, and second you’re missing out. Big time. This is a band of dudes that prides themselves on creating the world’s best death metal, and when an album like this serves as their argument, it’s pretty fucken difficult to say otherwise.
Here’s the skinny. The vocals and bass are handled by the best growler in the world (who somehow finished second on this list, for fuck’s sake), Jörgen Sandström. The sheer power and brutality his vocal chords are capable of producing is mind-boggling, and he’s responsible for some of the best extreme vocals ever captured on record. The guitars are handled by Ibanez Xiphos lover/MMA enthusiast, Lord K Philipson, a man who I’m thinking you should probably know if you’re reading this review on this particular domain of the internets. And the drums are absolutely ripped to shreds by one of the best and most underrated drummers/rhythmic dynamos of the last decade, Tobias Gustafsson of Vomitory. Just reading this band’s lineup aloud can break a hymen.
As you may also already know, “Evighetens Dårar” is essentially the tidy compilation of three demos that were released by Torture Division between 2009 and 2010 by the same name. However, from the first moment you hear this material, you’ll quickly realize there’s nothing very “demo” about it, if you know what I mean. This is some excellent, extremely high quality stuff.
With a band that features members with résumés like this, then clearly the talent is there in all departments. These are veteran death metallers who know a thing or fifty about death metal songwriting and technical chops and whatnot. In addition to that, though, the album itself sounds utterly amazing. Just knowing that it was mastered and mixed by the great Dan Swanö, you should already know the quality that you’ll find in the production department. All the levels are perfect, the guitar sound is massive, the drums virtually explode from the speakers, and the bass possesses a bright, punchy clarity that does nothing but put a smile on my face whenever I hear it.
This album is 10 tracks (well 9 if you don’t count the epic 9-second “The Axe Murderer”) of what can truly be considered the best death metal the world has to offer. Every single riff is brutally relentless and catchy as hell. Tobben Gustafsson pulverizes the drum kit and lays down the groove in a way that only he can. And Jörgen Sandström uses his throat to punish and destroy anything in his path. You don’t get anything fancy here. No grandiose programmed electronics, no cleanly sung operas, no sweet little interludes.
I’ll admit, that “With Endless Wrath We Bring Upon Thee Our Infernal Torture” left a little something to be desired. It’s a fantastic record, but “Evighetens Dårar” is in a completely different universe. This is fucken flawless Swedish death metal in its purest sense. And it’s some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the world. Ever. Get this album. It’s fucken free for one thing, but fuck that. Buy a disc. You owe them that much just for making an album this close to sheer death metal perfection.
Written for globaldomination.se
Evighetens Dårar is Torture Division’s second compilation, and its constituent parts were a series of demos issued over the last year (which can be downloaded from their website). The band is formed of current and ex members of several leading Swedish death metal bands (among them Grave, Entombed, and the Project Hate MCMXCIX). Stylistically, they play Swedish death metal with some moderate death/grind influence. It’s a style of music that has seen thousands of interpretations, but fortunately Torture Division are skilled enough as songwriters to both stand out and be worth your precious time. Each of these nine songs (discounting “the Axe Murderer”, a jokey ten-second grindfart) is unique, catchy, memorable and interesting. At 28 minutes, Evighetens Dårar is concise. The lyrics mostly tread familiar ground (torture, brutal sex, war), although “Ravishing Rampage Sluts” (yeah, really) pays homage to Acid Bath and Cannibal Corpse fairly cleverly.
Dan Swanö)))’s mix on these songs is as close to perfect as I’ve heard on any modern release. It’s rare to have a mixer (and producer?) who does so much for the material, but here he deserves special mention. The two examples I’d give are the beginning of “Eld Och Plågor”, which just curb stomps the listener with its heaviness, and the end of “Overtorture”, which is a perfect representation of the Swedish spirit.
Albums (fine, compilations) like Evighetens Dårar are why I’m glad I’m a music critic. The chance to be exposed to new, awesome music is one of the best things in my life. Since it’s free, you ought to expose yourselves to it too. It’s pay what you want, but if you’re like me, you’ll download it for free and then buy the CD.
Originally written for: http://thenumberoftheblog.com/
Torture Division is a name that you'll constantly see pitched around various metal forums or recommendation lists, and rightly so: they're a trio of Sweden's finest death mavens working in unison to produce material that dwells safely in the characteristics of the classic death, grind and d-beat rhythms of their other projects, yet never seems to fail to kick ass. As the band involves bassist and vocalist Jörgen Sandström (Entombed, Grave, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, etc), guitarist Lord K Philipson (God Among Insects, Dark Funeral, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, etc.) and drummer Tobias Gustafsson (Vomitory, God Among Insects, and once again also The Project Hate), it's not a surprise that their output is studio album quality and could easily span several full lengths, yet they've seen fit to go another route.
Essentially, the band seems to release a string of demos (three in 2008, three in 2009-2010) and then collect them onto compilations. Evighetens Dårar is thus the accumulation of Evighetens Dårar demos I, II and III, collecting that material in one affordable location (Abyss Records), as a follow-up to their prior comp With Endless Wrath We Bring Upon Thee Our Infernal Torture from last year, the separate visages of the band members (which graced each of the three constituent demos) joined together at last for 10 tracks of war stomping, aural rushing madness. The sounds produced by the band mirror some of their past works (namely God Among Insects or Entombed), but they also dwell in that loud, simplistic category of purist death metal that might thrill fans of a Hail of Bullets, the Rogga family of bands like Paganizer and Ribspreader, or even the German Horned Almighty. The latter has a decidedly more black metal spin on their style, of course, but the simple flow of the rhythms and bass have a similar undercurrent.
Torture Division knows how to hook you on a basic riff and provide enough dynamic fiber that you won't be able to escape listening through the entire 2-3 minutes. Yes, they keep their material short, perfunctory and powerful, without experimentation or the excess 6-7 minutes of bloated viscera that often define some of the more confused acts of this type. "Heretics! Now!" exclaims itself like a hammer on the neck, blasted, almost grinding force that measures itself out into thrashing perfection, while "Eld Och Plågor" crawls along as if it were a mid-90s neanderthal written Morbid Angel groove diluted with the bluntness of a Grave, which later segues into this brilliant old school Entombed melody, and then a fist fucking breakdown. Want something faster? The band provides "Righteous Fore Ensemble", "Under Fire Command" and the :9 second epic "The Axe Murderer". Want something more meaty, with grooves? Take "Ravishing Rampage Sluts" or "Overtorture" for a spin.
Thanks to a Dan Swano mix, the material sounds just as professional as nearly anything else coming out of this turf, and therein lies another comparison, to another Swedish super group. Surprisingly, Torture Division have written a set of songs here that easily match the works of Bloodbath, and to the worshipers of those primal panderers, I grant you: your new gods. So if you think there's still room left in the arena (i.e. your wallet) for another class act of Swedish barbarism, there is simply no way you're going to lose with this recording, which should reserve some space on your CD rack next to its predecessor. It's not perfect, but it will beat the living tar out of you.