Torche: Restarter [Album Review]

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torche Torche
Relapse Records [2015]

Fire Note Says: Torche aim to rock you under their heavy groove.

Album Review: You can classify Torche into any type of “rock” box you want, be it metal, alternative, radio friendly, sludge or maybe even pop but their fourth album, Restarter, is somewhat of a game changer for the band. It is a heavy, melodic, and grinding affair that can bake you on an eight minute track with the same ferociousness that Torche can punch you in the gut on a short two minute number.

2012’s Harmonicraft found the band moving ever so slightly away from heavy riffs and more into punk and pop structures that fell into a modern rock type realm. Restarter forgets that move and takes Torche back to their earlier days as the opening track, “Annihilation Affair” by title alone, hits you in the head like a sock full of pennies. That of course is a good thing as its calculated rhythms pulse through you. Even on the speedy 2:29 minute “Loose Men,” Torche still possess a sludgy backbone which just propels you through the track. You can feel every beat, hear every line and rock out completely.

Restarter is already one of the better rock records you will hear this year. It is somewhat commercial in the sense that I could see one of those boring radio stations which plays all similar sounding bands picking this album up but I guarantee even in that setting, Torche will stand out. I like how the band can have the same venom as Helmet while giving that sun grind of Kyuss or the more refined sounding Queens of the Stone Age.

Restarter is a record that is not as immediate which I enjoy because it does take several spins to absorb but it really sticks. The songs stand out, the length of tracks matter and they all will kick your ass. Also, wait until you hit the over eight minute closing title track. It is a song that showcases Torche’s veteran status as it progresses you through different rhythms and movements while remaining completely cohesive. It caps an ending to a solid 40 minutes of straight out rock that today seems harder and harder to find.

Key Tracks: “Annihilation Affair” / “Loose Men” / “Restarter”

Artists With Similar Fire: Melvins / Kyuss / Baroness

Torche Website
Torche Facebook
Relapse Records

– Reviewed by Christopher Anthony

Christopher Anthony
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