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Just waiting for the cover art on a t-shirt - 89%

joncheetham88, April 4th, 2011

Alright, yawn, scratch bollocks, first quarter 2011 up and what death metal have we had so far this year? Nervecell sounds sort of promising, that Morbid Flesh album kinda kicked ass. New Ribspreader sounds meh. Obscura, I don't do techy-death. Is that it? Anyone know any different feel free to come down on me like a ton of bricks and I'll edit the review to make it look like I knew/ remembered all along. But belay those butthurt protests - there's a new Torture Division demo up, fucking fresh meat. First demo in a new trilogy of killer old school death metal? Let's chow the fuck down.

You'll be humming the tremolo riffs to 'Vampire Empire' with enthusiastic nasality loud enough to irritate even yourself during its running time. Seriously catchy, ugly stuff, a murder of riffs flying at you at all times, grind-like chugging mashing the whole thing into a mess of twisted bone and torn muscle.

After its heavy-as-a-mastodon's-balls opening, the title song lopes cumbersomely forth with a low-slung, bouncing guitar riff, punctuated by sinister slower parts. The leads are masterful, almost Eastern influenced wails that sound stupidly kickass coming from K. Philipson's axe through a sweet-as-dopesmoke Dan Swano mix.

'Clark the Monarch' has one of the band's stranger song titles, but its grind-like switching between relentless double-kick bloodbaths and furious blastbeats makes it a sweet as pie closer to another free helping of Torture that has me searching, puzzled, for death metal that is quite as satisfying on so many levels. Never would have seen yourself growling along to "Claaaarrkk, the Monaarrrcchh" with all seriousness would you? If Torture Division can make a Mastodon song sound absolutely merciless ('Iron Tusk', see their website) getting you to do that is nothing.

The demo sounds the same as usual - cracking - Jörgen Sandström's growls are gravelly grunts like he's hanging his arse over the abyss and shitting into hell itself, the guitar riffs have no business being this good given it's 2011, and the drumming from Tobias Gustafsson is belligerently accurate and crushing enough to defy metaphor. In terms of composition, the songwriting is more sophisticated, songs switching up and changing pace more often (while losing none of their compactness) and basically just go fucking download it and wait for them to put the cover art on a t-shirt:

Yup, I remember now, there was one death metal album out that left my arse kicked to shreds. The new record from The Project Hate MCMXCIX... a band that now has everyone from Torture Division in it.