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TORCH
TORCH
Dark Sinner
(Mausoleum Records)
51:24min

I was totally excited when I got the news not too long ago that Sweden's TORCH (one of my alltime favorite early 80s Metal bands) is active again after approximately 25 years of silence... From the original line-up unfortunately only singer Dan Dark is still around these days, but after having listened to this brand new album, I can assure you that he still delivers his charismatic vocals (which have always been a major trademark of TORCH) with the same class, so don't worry too much. I was honestly a bit skeptical whether or not he would still be able to impress me after so many years, especially after I read in a big German Metal magazine that he's supposed to sound a lot more like Udo Dirkschneider these days... Well, I have no idea where those strange comparisons were coming from... fact is that he still sounds very close to what he originally sounded like in the 80s and that's just great! 13 out of the featured 15 songs on "Dark Sinner" should be known to every TORCH fan already as they are re-recorded versions from the old days. In particular you're getting 'Thunderstruck', 'Electrikiss', 'Hot On Your Heels' from 1984's "Electrikiss" album, the track 'Fire Raiser' from 1982's EP (that later got re-issued / re-named as "Fire Raiser"), plus 9 out of 10 songs from the self-titled debut full length (later also to be re-issued / re-named as "Warlock"). I could easily have lived without the newly added, yet pretty cheesy sounding "wo-ho-ho" backing vocals towards the end of 'Gladiator' as well as the partly distorted parts in 'Hatched Man'... and I'm not too impressed by the backing vocals in 'Electrikiss' and 'Hot On Your Heels' either (well, somehow they already sucked back in the 80s, didn't they?). But apart from that the overall attitude / musical direction luckily hasn't changed too much. It's still traditional Metal to the bone, without any annoying modern overtones and the featured two brandnew tracks 'The Dark Sinner' and 'We Will Fight' perfectly fit in with the rest of the material, so an album full of all new material would definitely be nice (not to mention the long overdue CD re-issue of the "Electrikiss" album!). For more information go to www.myspace.com/torchmetal, www.mausoleum-records.com

Frank Stöver

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