death metal underground
The Ultimate Death Metal Resource
Death Metal Search Engine
Torchure - The Essence
Review: Europe accepted metal of a more extreme caliber than was permissible in the United States, thus their next generation of metal hybridized the Bathory, Sodom, Destruction, Kreator, and Celtic Frost influences with a long tradition of stadium-levitating heavy metal as well as the newly popular speed metal bands from the United States. In this liminal state Torchure created extremely rapid music that staged itself in the quasi-operatic dramatism that only heavy metal can engender, where unlike rock the individual is not the focus but the significance of the scene.
Where "Beyond the Veil" might be described as a fusion between Metallica and Kreator and Paradise Lost, "The Essence" strays closer to the more acerbic style of death metal to come and abandons the explicitly lush descent into emotion for ripping abstract riffs in a style that, if "Beyond the Veil" hearkened to the Metallica years, is an allusion to the best of Slayer. This music might more accurately be described as death metal: the staggered pauses and expectant beatdrops are gone, as are the muffled thunderbolt percussion strumming and brooding atmosphere. What replaces it is an atmosphere of grandeur and the feral importance of things that cannot be articulated in human terms; the central melodic motifs have now become simpler and buried in implication.
As musical alchemy, the music is binary: it creates a thesis, then something that would be an antithesis except it does not address the thesis and thus is more like that which occupies the place the thesis desires, and these are synthesized by way of a conclusion that does not state the counterpoint but with that adroitness of phrase peculiar to German metalbands posits a contrary world in which the absorption of conflicted opposites into a new form has already in itself been absorbed. Lead guitar squirms through the thick chords played open of choruses and fades in the rippling textures of tremolo that define verses, maggots on methamphetamine struggling through the brains of an army of the dead. This album strikes with more impact than the other but does not explore innerspace so thoroughly, preferring a panoramic view of the extra-human like a Nietzscheian weather sattellite.
A clear musical presence sequences these ideas, which are some of the most coherently composed metal from this era, and give this band an aura of that indefinable weight that comes when spirit and morality find common ground in the assertion of natural passion against constraining barriers of both fated conclusions and entropic degradation in inaction. The music moves with the rupturing force of a Bolt Thrower, although more definitive with less of the attack-release surging grindcore positioned against expansive melodic riffing that distinguishes that band. Nailing chords into potent riffs and tight-ended structures, Torchure make a lasting testament to metal with the simplest of musical tools.