Album Review: Torche 'Restarter'

Restarter is the upcoming studio album from Miami-based metal band, Torche. With djent currently dominating the genre, Restarter is a breath of fresh air.

It brings dynamics from the nineties, updates them, and presents them in an interesting package; you could find yourself listening to Sonic Youth-esque dissonance one minute and doom metal grooves reminiscent of Electric Wizard the next.

There is nothing technical about Restarter, which defies the metal scene's current demand for virtuosity, but the record ends up being greater than the sum of its parts. I never focused on one part and marveled at it. Instead, I found myself listening to each song as a whole and acknowledging that it's complete; it's hard to find any empty space, and each track is a sludge-laden wall of sound.

An example of this is the title track. It vamps on the same riff for the majority of the song, but I never felt like it dragged.

The record is short, just passing the 40-minute mark. "Restarter" is the longest track on the album. It clocks in at 8 minutes and 40 seconds, which makes it nearly one fourth of the album's duration.

There is, however, not a moment wasted. It has a statement to make, it makes it, and then it ends at its logical closing point.

The stand-out track on the album is "Loose Men." It's the first song with an upbeat tempo, and it effectively reengaged me to the record. It's one part Warrior Soul and one part Dinosaur Jr.

The album is raw, but that isn't a bad thing. In an era where everything seems overproduced, Restarter is teeming with the honesty of nineties alternative music.

It is an unpolished combination of droning riffs and grooving rhythms. And I would definitely recommend it for music fans tired of the squeaky-cleanliness in modern metal.

Restarter will be available on February 24 on Relapse Records. If you want to keep updated on the band as the album's launch approaches, visit their official website here.