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excellent chilean thrash-deth - 90%

rokhausen, July 20th, 2005

Before hearing this record I had already prejudged it. Torturer hail from Chile and this, their first record, was recorded in the early 90's - so, obviously, because they have a goofy name and are from South America, and this being their first release, it is going to be moronically brutal (see: Sarcafago, Vulcano), lyrically illogical (see: Sarcafago, Vulcano), and totally fucking awesome (see: Sarcafago, Vulcano)! Well, I was right on all counts, except for one… these guys can really fucking play!! The band manages to maintain a perfect balance between technical flash and visceral force, speed and gravity, thrashing/slashing and all out pummeling. And they do it all without sounding like preprogrammed instrument-playing robots (see: Nocturnus’ “Thresholds”). The vocals compliment the music well, sounding like a slightly over-the-top Altars-era David Vincent. The lyrics are the usual South American underground fare (“the dark church is cool / at the yard we found a dead / all this horrifying place / is impregnated with dirty smell”), but you would not even notice unless you referred to the jacket. They’re on beat and delivered with total infernal conviction. The production is surprisingly clear, if a little trebly at times and over-compressed at others, but the usual low-end metal dumpster from Hades sound is not present this time around (see: Sarcafago, Vulcano). And for once I think I am really thankful it’s not, because there’s a lot going on here compositionally that deserves an unmuddled presentation.

The version I picked up contained the “Kingdom of the Dark” demo as bonus material. This is also very good stuff, and in some ways more brutal than the main fare of the disc.