Severe Torture - Sworn Vengeance
Earache Records
Death Metal
10 songs (35'58)
Release year: 2007
Severe Torture, Earache Records
Reviewed by Crims

Since I reviewed (and somewhat over-scored) Severe Torture’s Misanthropic Carnage a few years back they released a live CD and full-length 2 years ago, while this, Sworn Vengeance is their latest. The band has certainly “evolved” somewhat since their Cannibal Corpse worshipping beginnings. The band was always brutal and fairly generic despite having strong musicianship and a lot of aggression which made for an enjoyable if not a familiar listening experience. Since Misanthropic Carnage the band has added further depth to their music which this release continues as they move further away from their Cannibal Corpse worship of old.

I suppose the best way to describe the music of Severe Torture this time around is a combination of Blood Red Throne (who use everyone from Cannibal Corpse, Monstrosity, to Deicide as an influence) and Dies Irae/Vader. The style they seem to use from Dies Irae and Vader are the catchy and neck moving chug riffs with hints of Thrash. Naturally, mixed with this are typical blast beats and huge double bass runs with, once again, Thrash influenced Death Metal riffs. I was tempted to coin this Death/Thrash but it’s not quite there yet. Also present on almost every song is a highly melodic slow to mid-paced solo. The solo’s don’t quite get to the shear genius of recent Vital Remains but they do an commendable job of adding extra melody to the music and thus distinction. The band also throws in a handful of surprises in many of the songs. The first of which is a different vocal style than the standard Death Metal growl the band has always employed. So what we get on Redefined Identity is a John Tardy (Obituary) impression which works really well, especially when it’s doubled with the normal vocals near the end of the song. Also on Buried Hatchet there are guest vocals from Jason Netherton (Misery Index) and Che Snelping (ex-Born From Pain) and the result is more variety and is altogether highly memorable.

When it comes down to it the music is still somewhat generic but because they incorporate more influences the overall listening experience is satisfying to me because the solos and Death/Thrash breaks made each song distinct and memorable. If you’re into Death Metal then many riffs on here will make your head move whether you want it to or not. My only complaints would be some of the riffs played over the blast beats sounded too similar and lacked the distinction of the more Thrash based and Monstrosity styled riffs that are sprinkled throughout, and secondly the band does repeat themselves in other areas but this only become apparent have the first few listens because quite frankly I was too busy head-banging to notice the first and second time around. The standard deep Death Metal vocals are still generic but I found the phrasing to be better, and the inclusion of better placed double vocal tracks and the guest vocals made things easier to stomach. As a bonus the band ends the CD with a Doom Metal influenced instrumental called Submerged In Grief which features harmonized and dissonant plodding doom melodies and riffs that evoked a surprisingly involved atmosphere. If the band can somehow work this sound in between their brutality we might have a release to look out for in the future.

I can say that I wasn’t expecting this; I started listening to this release expecting more Cannibal Corpse rip-offs but the band has certainly evolved in a good way and though they do sound similar to Blood Red Throne, they now as least use more varied riffs and tempos (and Blood Red Throne have yet to incorporate melodic solos and melodic chord progression into their music). I’m a huge fan of Blood Red Throne so another band making catchy, neck-moving, back-to-the-basics Death Metal is alright with me for the time being.

Killing Songs :
Serenity Torn Asunder, Redefined Identity, Buried Hatchet, Sworn Vegeance, Repeat Offender
Crims quoted 82 / 100
Other albums by Severe Torture that we have reviewed:
Severe Torture - Slaughtered reviewed by Goat and quoted 65 / 100
Severe Torture - Misanthropic Carnage reviewed by Crims and quoted 78 / 100
Severe Torture - Feasting On Blood reviewed by Marc and quoted 85 / 100
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There are 2 replies to this review. Last one on Tue Dec 04, 2007 6:02 pm
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