Torok - Addiction of Fools
Nightmare Records
80's Style Guitar driven Hard Rock
10 songs (45:26)
Release year: 2006
Nightmare Records
Reviewed by Mike

Here's a nice surprise for fans of good, 80's hard rock in the vein of Tesla and Van Halen. When this CD arrived, it sure looked like an indie release from a new band. However, the promo sheet reveals that Torok has been around for about 10 years, and Addiction of Fools is their third album. I'm not sure why these guys aren't a little more well known, as the quality of their music sure warrants it.

On tap with this album is a hard rock band that is very guitar driven in nature, similar to Van Halen. The band's promo sheet cites Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Whitesnake as primary influences, but I think the Van Halen comparison is most obvious. Lyrically, Torok pretty much avoid the Diamond Dave topics of sex and drinking, and instead opt for a more serious and sometimes darker lyrical path. However, each of the songs (except for the ballad title track) are powerful, driven by heavy guitars and the impressive pipes of Bryan Erickson. Although Mike Torok is an excellent guitarist, vocalist Bryan Erickson sounds like Jeff Keith's (Tesla) twin brother and steals the show here. He's got the passion and energy behind his voice to match that of Jeff Keith as well; and this adds a lot of color to the songs on this album. Although the musicians behind Erickson are very solid to say the least, he's the type of vocalist who has the ability to carry a band on his shoulders.

As for the songs themselves, they are good, but I do hear some room for improvement. Flamboyant guitar work is the backbone of the sound; complete with pounding riffs, shreds, and flashy solos. As I mentioned above, the vocals blend perfectly with this style of music, giving the songs an extra kick. However, I don't find the songs themselves to be very memorable. The melodies and rhythms aren't very catchy, except for Full Moons and Forsaken. As a result, the album doesn't jump on you right away, but you will come to appreciate the fine musicianship and vocals that are on display from start to finish. Despite the overall lack of catchiness, there's still a lot of good things going on here than allow the album to stand up strong. Additionally, I think this music could benefit tremendously with a second guitarist. If Mike Torok could take some of his solos and rhythms and turn them into dual solos and rythms, I think the sound would be just phenomenal. As it is now, the guitar work is very impressive, but I bet a second guitarist (who would obviously have to keep pace with Mike) would really help give the band a full bodied, unforgettable sound.

All in all, I am pleasantly surprised with this album. On an individual level, each member of the band is an ace at their game. If you're into good ol' guitar driven hard rock from the 80's without the glam or party image, you should really check these guys out. Personally, I think some more striking hooks and melodies would have helped this album, but it's still a very worthwhile listen nonetheless!

Killing Songs :
Full Moons, Forsaken
Mike quoted 70 / 100
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