Torture Killer - Sewers
Dynamic Arts Records
Groovy Death Metal
8 songs (29:09)
Release year: 2009
Torture Killer, Dynamic Arts Records
Reviewed by Goat

It’s pretty much de rigour to politely yawn at the mention of Chris ‘Dreadlock’ Barnes these days, unless we’re talking of early Cannibal Corpse or you’re the type of person that listens to Tirant Sin demos. His presence didn’t do much in terms of sales for Finnish gorehounds Torture Killer, and it’s a fair bet that since he’s left to do whatever he does now when he’s not releasing album number forty three with the facestabbingly boring Six Feet Under, Torture Killer will remain firmly in the underground. The band, made up of veterans from all sorts of obscure Finnish bands (Demigod, Adramelech, Torsofuck being the ones I recognised), play murder-worshipping Death Metal of the grooviest kind, pretty much what you’d expect Bolt Thrower to sound like if they weren’t so awesome, and although Sewers has the occasional moment that makes you sit up in your chair and check that you’ve got the right album on, overall it’s the kind of thing that you’ve heard exactly one billion times before.

Of course, this being Death Metal that’s no reason to reject anything out of hand, and if you enjoy your grunt n’blast of a particularly groovy nature then chances are there’ll be something for you here. The band are more than capable, grooving like they’re listening to Parliament in the 70s, and if anything is the aural representation of wading through a sewer filled with blood then I suppose this is. Yet I generally prefer my Death Metal to have more of an atmosphere, if it’s not going to be weighed down with riffs so brutal that they’d make Napalm Death drop to their knees in wonder, and Sewers lacks both riffs and atmosphere. Although the guitars are nice and sludgy, the tone is the best thing they have going for them, as the riffs present are simply not killer; and as for the atmosphere, this could be any Death Metal band, really. You’d think that rivers of blood running through slime-encrusted sewers, mixing with human filth and waste all beneath the bustling city of people obsessed with their own thoughts would be a pretty darned neat concept to write around, but no, what do we get, but typical “I’m a crazy murderous type, I am” nonsense.

Really what saves Torture Killer from being dreadful is that this isn’t complete murder to listen to. The likes of Rats Can Sense The Murder are vaguely catchy with the teensiest morsel of Rock N’Roll influence creeping in, whilst the title track has some sampled newsreader talking about some serial killer. A couple of tracks approach killer status, especially opening groover Crypts, which has a slightly more varied approach, and the following groovy little number I Bathe In Their Blood, which is actually pretty good, astoundingly taking a turn towards the end towards some kind of Katatonian epic melancholy. It’s so good that I actually dropped the sandwich I was eating whilst listening for the first time, and it hinted at a wonderful new direction for the band, really bringing to life what innate misery there is in being a crazy murderous type and washing in other people’s gore as the melancholic melody hits an epic drive and the vocalists roar ‘I BATHE IN THEIR BLOOD!’. Alas, it’s back to the bloodshed soon after, the protagonist clearly getting over it on The Art Of Impalement as he feels no disgust whilst fucking the dead (it’s the living he has the problem with, you see. *sigh*). Ultimately then, Sewers is not worth your time, the one spark of genius being frustratingly buried by the rest of the music like someone being sick on Albert Einstein’s notepad. Would you want to wash it clean on the offchance he wrote something utterly fantastic down?

Killing Songs :
the last bit of I Bathe In Their Blood
Goat quoted 57 / 100
Other albums by Torture Killer that we have reviewed:
Torture Killer - I Chose Death reviewed by Aleksie and quoted no quote
Torture Killer - Swarm! reviewed by Jeff and quoted 75 / 100
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