Torture Rack’s sophomore release is one of the grimiest, most putrid things I have ever heard; and that’s a recommendation.
Following a three year wait after their 2015 debut LP Barbaric Persecution, Torture Rack has returned with their newest record Malefic Humiliation, distributed by 20 Buck Spin. As the album cover suggests, this release is absolutely filthy and refuses to let any listener leave without an upset stomach and a broken neck. The band has been playing shows sporadically over the last couple of years but is set to play at the Killtown Deathfest in Copenhagen, Denmark. This will undoubtedly be the band’s biggest performance to date and will contribute to a growth in popularity as a result of increased exposure. Let’s delve into the band’s newest record and see how they stack up against other bands within the blaring modern death metal scene.
The release’s most redeemable factor lies behind the general vibe that oozes from the music. The vocals delivered throughout the album are extremely guttural and truly mesh well within the confines of the guitar and drum work. It is easily noticeable that the musicians behind Torture Rack are extremely capable of putting together well-structured songs whereby all of the necessary elements are dispersed and shown off evenly. There are some song segments that feature rapid punishing vocal deliveries which are then followed by solo bass parts or rough ripping solo sections; all well executed and valuable to the entire feel of the release. Below are discussions and praise affirmations regarding some of my favourite tracks on the record.
The riffs on this album are absolutely phenomenal and this track shows them off the best. The opening guitar repetition is a trudging, slow, and beating rhythm that is then expanded upon throughout the tune. The opening riff is delivered along with a double bass that culminates to flatten all of the song’s musical elements into a low but wide soundscape that swallows and traps the listener until the final note of the record is played.
The 1:58 mark offers a complete stop to the music that is followed by an absolutely crushing rhythmic base section that is played for a few seconds, only to suck the listener back into the vortex of malevolence and atrophy that is the sound produced by the record. The bass tone is also perfectly executed as the instrument delivers a rumbling and profound sound that is not only amazing during this short section but can be heard vibrating through the soundwaves when the vocal, guitar, and drum sections are also playing at full force. This short but crucial part of the track is my absolute favourite moment of the album.
The track features another slow and crushing set of riffs from the dark and genius metal minds of the members of Torture Rack. While the song opens with a similar-sounding section of music as to that heard on the prior track, the tune begins to take form around the 0:33 mark when the main riff is first introduced. This segment evolves into a menacing transformation of guitar and drums that eventually hang for a second, achieving a buildup of suspense for the listener, only to unleash the main riff again in full force; producing one of the heaviest breakdowns of the album. The track again demonstrates the band’s ability to create a well-constructed song that offers a diverse range of instrumentation and vocal segments.
Slave to the Savage
This track is the most straightforward and traditionally-structured piece of the album. While the other spots on the record deliver a more unique soundscape with odd but fittingly-placed solo sections and intricate rhythm evolutions, this track flows in a more old-school manner that is easily palatable for less-experienced death metal followers. I note these qualities with positive intentions; I am by no means saying that the song’s sound is basic and derivative. The track successfully manages to deliver the aforementioned putrid atmosphere that is one of the album’s strong points, it is just achieved in a more straightforward manner, echoing back to metal pioneers to the likes of Death and Morbid Angel. If Torture Rack’s sound is too intricate and unappealing for you, “Slave to the Savage” is a good throwback to a more traditional sound.
Additionally, the song’s very properly-placed solo is one of the most unique parts of the track, as its delivery and structure is very odd but nonetheless delightful.
Overall, the record successfully achieves a feel that is, while not necessarily unique from other disgusting-sounding death metal bands, extremely atmospheric and trapping. Although several songs were highlighted above, there truly isn’t a poor track on the album. Coupled with their upcoming festival performance, Torture Rack’s most recent release is a demonstration of their proficient song writing capabilities that will undoubtedly launch them on their rise to popularity within the genre.