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TORCHBEARER
TORCHBEARER
Death Meditations
(Vic Records)
44:15min

"Death Meditations" is the 3rd album by TORCHBEARER from Sweden which was formed by Christian Älvestam (ex - SCAR SYMMETRY) with other musicians who also partake in many other bands and projects. It's a concept album based on the philosophy of Hagakure - the way of the samurai, so there you have something different at least lyrically. What about the music? First thing that strikes you is how fuckin' polished the whole thing sounds and, yeah, the musicians involved in this band know a thing or two about their instruments, meaning that you get a top notch, professional performance, lots of speed, lots of melodies, some unnecessary guitar wankery, even huge atmospheric compositions and for all that you can blame DARK TRANQUILLITY, IN FLAMES and the whole fuckin' Power Metal phenomenon there. Although the band refers to their style as melodic Black / Death Metal, I couldn't hear any Black or Death here, only heaps of speed, power and, yeah, it's all so fuckin melodic that at the end it just made me wanna puke. Agreed, TORCHBEARER try, and some will say quite succesfully, to push the stylistic boundaries of this style by incorporating different elements into their songs thus shifting from really fast parts to accoustic interludes and back into a frenzied rage, but the polished sound and total lack of raw aggression just kills it for me. Youngsters who grew up with Pro-Tooled Metal will jack all over themselves about the clean production employed here, those who like SCAR SYMMETRY will definitely dig this too and there are quite a few layers to get your teeth into, tracks like 'Coffin-Shaped Heart', 'At Takao River', 'Penumbra' and title song have plenty to offer music-wise, but somehow I have the gut feeling that most readers of this very webzine will agree with me and stay the fuck away from this overproduced, soulless and boring crap that's been done to death and is ruling the mainstream Metal scene. Get more info at: www.myspace.com/officialtorchbearer, www.vicrecords.com

Mindaugas "Plix" Lapinskas

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