Severe Torture CD review by Luc Rodgers
Feb 5, 2008, 04:01
SEVERE TORTURE Sworn Vengeance CD
Metal, as a genre, has no bounds. Almost anything goes (listen to Alcest, for goodness sake) and the bands on the forefront keep pushing the limits to extremity, violence, ambience, and general over-the-top-ness. There are so many metal bands, though, that many of them sound nearly identical. Take the Netherlands' Severe Torture, for instance. Blast beats, growls, and taut musicianship flaunt what everyone already knows: metal guys play at an echelon unknown and unseen in other genres. Fingers tapping blinding scales, wrists chugging, feet blap-blapping the bass drums; it is really a blur of talent, but the end result is just another death metal record.
Opening, following, and closing Sworn Vengeance are good enough riffs, unmemorable growls and threats, and cookie-cutter showmanship. Technical it is, but nowhere near Behemoth. Brutalâ€¦yes, that's in there as well, but not so much as to actually frighten someone. The underlying problem is that there just aren't enough brains here to keep the interest piqued. It is dumbed-down, head-bang worthy, and trite. Sure, they tour the world with other heavyweights in the genre (Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, Vader, among others), rest comfortably on the roster of one of the great metal labels, and could put 94% of the world's population to shame in an axe-battle (the guitar-axe, not the literal tool. That honor would rest in the hands of someone more competent with the weapon, like Amon Amarth), but the fact remains that it is merely death metal. Nothing else.
Fans of the genre needing every single release should have no problem finding this a worthy addition. For those that like something to think about, keep looking. [Earache]