Do you like SIX FEET UNDER? No? Then forget about this album, because what TORTURE KILLER deliver here is not much more than a copy/paste of what those mostly despised American have made. That means mid-tempo Death Metal, middle-of-the-road density, underdeveloped songs and ultra repetitive vocal lines… in one word, TORTURE KILLER deliver mediocrity.
Let’s note that this band was born in Finland 4 years ago, as a SFU-worship act. After their debut “For Maggots To Devour” (2002) they lost their vocalist and none other than Chris Barnes filled the void. I confess that I haven’t listened to their first album, so I can’t say in which way Barnes changed the direction of the band, but what is “Swarm”, it sounds exactly like SIX FEET UNDER with a few minor changes (TORTURE KILLER being more melodic and with more leading guitars). Besides the characteristics described on the first paragraph, I should add a bass heavy sound and the typical CANNIBAL CORPSE inspired lyrics, to give you a complete idea of what TORTURE KILLER is in terms of musical structure.
The production, let’s say, is proper. Everything sound rather filthy and rotten, the strings are corrosive and drumbeats sound like an angry battery from the underground. That doesn’t mean that I support the performance, that is rustic, but it certainly makes the sound more enjoyable especially if played loud. On the other hand, I agree that Chris Barnes is a good growler, but it can turn extremely tedious under this equally tedious songwriting (just like happens with SIX FEET UNDER).
I’m no one to tell you what to buy and what to avoid, but in such an overcrowded scene as Death Metal is, there’s no time to stop in mediocrity, If you’re a fan of SIX FEET UNDER, you still should check this album but if not I can’t really recommend it. (Online October 6, 2006)