Miami's Torche have been eluding metal fans since their 2004 inception with their unique brand of spacey doom metal/stoner rock, filled with pop melodies and the catchiest of hooks. Their latest release, and Relapse debut, titled Restarter, is no exception. Once again utilizing Kurt Ballou's (Converge) mixing skills, the new ten-track album follows the band's stunning 2012 LP, Harmonicraft, and continues Torche's tradition of defying and surpassing expectations. The band waste no time cranking out the monolithic sludge riffs, starting with "Annihilation Affair," which transitions midway through to dissonant, droning feedback.
"Bishop In Arms" showcases thunderous drumming, while crushing, groovy rhythms anchor tracks like the slower-paced "Minions" and "Barrier Hammer." The much more energetic "Loose Men" and "Blasted" feature animated, poppy melodies that complement the heavier riffs. However, it's frontman Steve Brooks' harmonic vocals throughout the record that provide the most inspiring and identifiable aspect of the band's sound. Restarter is remarkably composed and perfectly balanced, demonstrating Torche's ability to continually refine their doom-pop/melodic hard rock approach. (Relapse)
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