Torche is a four-piece heavy metal band from from Miami, Florida. Their music is characterized by heavy riffs and catchy, harmonic vocals. The band formed in 2004 and have released five full lengths and four EPs. Original members include Steve Brooks on guitar and vocals, Jonathan Nuñez who switched from bass to guitar duties in 2016, and Rick Smith on drums. The group was also joined in 2016 by bass player, Eric Hernandez, who made his first recording with the band on the new album, Admission.
“an absolute juggernaut”
Released by Relapse Records (known for producing such bands as Baroness and High on Fire) on July 12, Admission is the fifth album by Torche, following Restarter in Feb, 2015. The band released several singles during the weeks counting down to the new release, as well as new media content such as a music video for Admission, and a videologue look inside the studio. The album can be bought on standard black vinyl, CD, cassette, or digital download on their Bandcamp page. Also, check out the band’s website for even more merch, tour info, and information about the band.
The entire album is an absolute juggernaut. The songs tend to be shorter than other bands in the genre, but the abbreviated quality makes the album more listenable, and perhaps will leave the listener wanting more, or at the very least, repeat listens. The bass and guitar tones are magnificent, tuned low and overdriven. Melodic vocals harmonize over the hypnotic riffs, and the drums hold the entire album down, with pounding, creative beats. Heavy, distorted riffs fluidly meld with catchy, “pop” sensibilities in the way that only Torche has done for the past 15 years.
From Here opens the album, pounding eardrums with its relentless force and high energy. Other fast-paced headbangers on the album include What Was, with almost subsonic bass notes and creative drumming, and Extremes of Consciousness, which plods forward with driving guitars, and complementing fuzzy bass.
Among some of the poppier songs on the album are Slide, Times Missing, Admission and Changes Come. Slide has intensly catchy riffs and vocal harmonies, yet still finds the opportunity to explore some progressive off-time sections later in the song. Times Missing slows things down with a simpler chord progression and incredible vocal harmonies over the droning guitars and slick musical turnarounds. A poppy beat on Admission propels the song forward, and the lyrics are more contemplative and self-reflecting. Changes Come, the album’s closer, wraps the album up with an incredibly uplifting tone amidst phasing guitars.
“almost impossibly slow and heavy”
Some of the slowest, heaviest moments on the album are toward the end of the album, with the back to back songs On the Wire, and Infierno. On the Wire combines doom-like riffs, with stark, high-pitched guitar harmonies. Infierno is an almost impossibly slow and heavy track, which will test your subwoofers to the limit.
Other notable tracks on the album are Submission and Reminder. Submission has amazingly melodic vocals, with crashing cymbals and trance like repetition of the riff, reaching a fever pitch at the end. Beatles-esque vocal harmonies, paired with swinging, heavy riffs, abound on Reminder.
Torche has once again proven that they can release music which is both incredibly heavy as well as incredibly listenable, while staying consistent with the sound of the band’s previous albums. Admission is an intense musical journey, and listeners will find more beauty in the details with each listen. Make sure to listen to the album all the way through to fully appreciate the arrangement and balanced quality of the LP as a whole.
Sept. 16 The Olympic Venue – Boise, ID
Sept. 17 Diabolical Records – Salt Lake City, UT
Sept. 18 Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO
Sept. 20 Zanzabar – Louisville, KY
Sept. 21 Heavy Mountain Fest – Asheville, NC
Sept. 22 The Wilbury – Tallahassee, FL
Sept. 23 The Atlantic – Gainesville, FL
Nov. 1 FEST – Gainesville, FL
Nov. 9 Levitation 2019 – Austin, TX