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blotorch.jpgBandname: Blo.torch
Title: Volatile
Genre: Death/Thrash Metal
Release Date: Autumn 2004
Record Company / Label: Self Financed





The Netherlands have been well-known for their huge supply of excellent death- and thrash-metal bands throughout the years. But lately it seems like the well has slightly dried up. Hence Blo.torch. These 5 men residing from The Hague know what a killer record needs. A talent that was already well recognized by Earache spin-off label Wicked World in the latter half of the nineties. The band released their debut and the future looked great. But somewhere the plans came to a full stop and they found themselves back at the beginning with no label to support them. Despite this set-back they didn’t give up and several years later the band is back with a slightly different line-up and a whole bunch of experience. Against all odds they even managed to win the prestigious “Grote Prijs van Zuid Holland” talent prize in the year 2004. This band is flaming red hot. Ready to burn the town down.

Line-Up

Chris – vocals
Marvin – guitars
Hassan – guitars
Sander – bass
Pascal – drums


Website




Song Review

1. Consumed by Indifference  – 4:13
The sound of a blowtorch bursts through the speakers. An eerie sound that can only be a sign of the oncoming onslaught. A killer riff sets the tone and the band is off…. Full speed, like a thrash band is supposed to. Chris’ grunts sound dirty, changing his sound ever so often into a scream (not high-pitched). Half-way through the band slows down and pulls us into a part where one guitar-part contradicts the drums and other instrumentation. But it’s so tightly and well done that this falls into place and gives the song just that extra bit of originality.

2.  Split Soul Massacre – 3:08
And straight into another high speed chaser. Their tight playing and aggressive style make you want to start a slam pit in your living room, that’s for sure. Some mid tempo and the occasional blast beat make the song diverse. Inventive riffing as well. A decent song.

3.  Razorjob – 3:20
Killer riff starts off the 3rd outburst of aggression. This should appeal to any death or thrash metal fan. There’s a lot happening, but the band keeps everything so close that nothing ever sounds chaotic or illogical. The only thing I start to doubt after a couple songs is the choice of the guitar sound. It’s good and very clear, but I seem to miss a bit of the fat sound a band like The Haunted displays nowadays.

4. Perish with the Pitiful – 3:36
A mid tempo song. The first thing I have to thank of is Morbid Angel. The entire approach sounds like something that could have been on the Blessed are the Sick album. Guitar riffs dragging through the song, the deep grunts, the changing tempo’s. Some dissonant sounds half way through turns the level of sickness up. Near the end there’s even some normal singing to contradict with the screams and grunts. And a very difficult ending leads us into…

5. Justifiable Homocide – 3:55
Probably (one of) the fastest songs on the album. Incredible drumming and an aggressive hook in the main riff will make the adrenaline flow. Several grunts, screams and other type of vocals feed on each other, which gives the song a sick twist. An incredible off-beat riff passes half way through the song, followed by a mid tempo piece that persuade you to headbang. And then they’re off again. And after an incredible ending the song is over. Musically one of my faves of this album.

6. Votives in Suspension – 1:25
A slow, dragging piece with some down-pitched samples from 9-11 speeches. Not so much a song as it is an intro to…

7. Aberrant Dream – 4:15
A thrasher of top quality. Just the right tempo, and again packed with many great hooks and incredible breaks. If you listen carefully through the assault you can actually hear that there are a lot of details in Blo.torch’s music. Rhythmically and melodically. It’s clear that the bass player has been just using a fretless bass throughout this entire session. After looking at the music up close I must say that they demand a lot of respect. They really master their instruments and the art of arrangements.

8. The Ties that Blind – 3:41
A catchy, dark riff and they’re off again. A full on thrasher with original twists and hooks. It seems like this song as a more melodic approach than some of the others. With an unusual view on timing this song gets a weird feel. Definitely a take on expanding the genre.

9. Vermin Circle – 3:35
No rest for the wicked. Straight into a piece that reminds me of The Haunted, building towards an actual groove. The stuff that makes you bang your head. Followed by the return of high speed thrashing. They really try to explore all angles of the death/thrash genre to keep it entertaining. Different tempo’s and different styles of riffing make it a very diverse effort.

10. Endtime – 3:49
Even the last song doesn’t give in to the expectations of a slow or mellow song. Full speed these Dutchmen rage on. With a slight psychotic tendency in one of the riffs it intensifies the experience. Half way through the song they slow down for a few. Double bass drums and deep grunting is followed by staccato riffing. Building and building the intensity. At the final bit of the song a sample kicks in of a crowd screaming in moaning like the end of times has hit and the earth has split open, and everybody’s falling into the fires of hell. No better way to end your album.


Technical information

Total playing time: 35:00
Total numbers: 10


Cover pictures

blotorch.jpg


Conclusion

Not many Dutch bands achieve it; to create an album that’s one huge adrenaline-rush from beginning to end. There’s actually no place for slow or mellow songs on this album. Right now they are still stuck in the pile that’s marked “Underrated”, but let’s hope they will cast that mark a.s.a.p. They deserve it! They can take on any international band in the scene right now. A big plus in this is the fact that they don’t sound Dutch. There are no cheesy guitar riffs or obvious instrumental parts. Another mention has to go to the intense and brutal vocals of Chris. The arrival of Chris really made the band rise to another level. Something that could never have been achieved with the old line-up. All in all, labels sign this band!! The only slight point of negativity is the guitar sound. Though it fits well and the overall production of this album is fierce and mean, I personally like a more full and round sound to the guitars. And 2 seconds after realising that I’m already thrashing through the room, so nevermind. If you’re into death & thrash metal bands and you’re looking for something new, spicy and original? This is definitely something to check out.


Rating

Music: 8,5
Sound: 7
Extra's: n/a
Total: 7,75

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