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Very formidable Deathrash! - 87%

Xpert74, March 29th, 2006

Most people who know about Torture Squad (however few that actually exist) probably have heard of how much of a piece of orgasm Pandemonium is. And while that album is indeed very fucking excellent, earlier Torture Squad should by no means be overlooked. This album is basically a more old-school Death Metal-ish version of Pandemonium, with the riffs having slightly more in common with Death than with Thrash (though the balance is still maintained for the most part), and the production sounding slightly less polished. Vitor Rodrigues alternates between high-pitched screams and Death growls like always (kind of like Wagner Antichrist or Glen Benton, but slightly more controlled), and the drumming and guitar playing is technical yet not wankish… like always. And again like always, there’s an onslaught of guitar riffs every minute, with an early ‘90s Morrisound guitar tone to match. So essentially, this isn’t all that different from recent Torture Squad, though the songwriting isn’t quite as well-developed in places (the middle of Murder Of A God kind of meanders a bit before it goes back to the main riff).

For those of you who aren’t yet familiar with Torture Squad, basically what makes them kick so much ass is that they sound similar to most old-school bands (Sepultura, Suffocation, Atheist, Deicide, etc.), while at the same time they don’t rip off any of those bands. Rather, they use those influences as building blocks to create their own unique sound, and the end result is very pleasing to fans of old-school Death/Thrash Metal. They sound familiar, yet unique at the same time. On this album in particular, they also tackle all different kinds of speeds and excel at all of them, with nice blastbeating moments (Convulsion), midpaced moments worthy of banging your head to (Agonies In Your Brain), and heavy as fuck almost-Doomish parts (the title track). The lyrics mostly have to do with speaking out about things like the idiocy of religion and politics and the like. They’re pretty well written for a band whose native language isn’t English.

In the end, this is a very good album that I suggest searching out for. If you don’t already have Pandemonium though, get that first, and if you want more, then check this out. The remastered version comes with 5 bonus live tracks, which demonstrate Torture Squad’s prowess in the live field. This is the version I suggest getting. Hails to Torture Squad for a killer release! \m/

Highlights: Murder Of A God (which aside from the already-mentioned middle part is still a good song), Agonies In Your Brain, Convulsion, etc.