Torture Killer Swarm!

In an almost impossibly surreal turn of events, the Finnish death metal band Torture Killer, who played nothing but Six Feet Under covers for their first gig, now have Six Feet Under/ex-Cannibal Corpse vocalist Chris Barnes behind the mic. Obviously, the geographic separation between Barnes and Tuomo, Jari, Tuomas and Kim is an obstacle, but apparently one they’re ready to conquer. The best part is Torture Killer are easily better than Six Feet Under, most readily apparent in the production department, as here the songs come across clean but still heavy. The tunes fall into the mid-tempo death metal region (Obituary were an early influence on these guys, and it shows), but there’s a sense of dynamic, and almost of song, that makes this way more enjoyable than any Cannibal Corpse or Six Feet Under release. At a brief 34 minutes, the album never has a chance to get too monotonous, although it tries. Death metal fanatics are gonna be freaking out over this one, and even the most jaded metal fan won’t find much reason to complain. Solid, sturdy and comforting in its predictability; all is right in the death metal world for now. (Metal Blade)