Torch Of War
The Principle of Cosmic Instability

Here’s how you can recreate Torch of War’s debut full length all by yourself;

Trap a mosquito and hook up an amp to the container then record its wings buzzing incessantly for 35 minutes (guitars). At the same time, get a simple plastic beach bucket and have a child bang on it as fast and as randomly as possible for the same 35 minutes (drums). Also, torture a small bird for the same duration (vocals).

Listen, I “get it”. I’m not one of ‘those’ guys that thinks all music should sound like Andy Sneap mixed it. I understand, and at times appreciate the whole grim, True, kult, raw etc, stuff that black metal is often supposed to be equated to, really I do. Ulver’s Natten’s Madrigal was perfect. However, in the case of Torch of War, the production, or lack thereof, is so utterly horrible and unlistenable, it almost makes a complete mockery of the whole genre.

I can appreciate a good, raw guitar tone, but here, Germany’s Torch of War are deliver such a grating, tremolo overkill, bassless (literally-there is no bass guitar) noise, that only the grimmest, most frostbitten of black metal fans could appreciate this. Honestly –it makes Natten’s Madrigal sound like Dimmu Borgir and to make matters worse, there might actually be some similarly styled riffs here that will go unheard because of the production.

Honestly, as opener “What Is Sleeping In Bloodlines” even starts, my teeth are already grinding hard and by the time “Such a Terrible Cold” shrieks by, my head hurts and I seriously had to take a break, before going back and listening more for the purposes of this review, which means I rarely got to closer “Primitive Regression of Purest Survival” in one sitting without any sort of Migraine.

I’m seriously interested to see what Black metal purists (Grimulfr?) think of this release and find if anyone can appreciate the horrendous cacophony that is Torch of War.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by E. Thomas
March 10th, 2008

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