Released: 2005, Earache
About 3 years ago I checked out Severe Torture’s second album, MISANTHROPIC CARNAGE. During that time I had kind of convinced myself that bands like Cannibal Corpse were good and worthwhile, unfortunately that’s not really the case and while I found some initial enjoyment in MISANTHROPIC CARNAGE I found myself incredibly bored in the long run. So, of course I’m not too thrilled about having to review Severe Torture’s 2005 Earache Records debut, FALL OF THE DESPISED.
Severe Torture play brutal death metal in the rather slick, semi-technical fashion that tends to grate on one’s nerves for being incredibly one dimensional. The sound isn’t much dissimilar from Cannibal Corpse’s semi-recent releases like GALLERY OF SUICIDE or BLOODTHIRST. It’s brutal, it’s aggressive, there’s pinch harmonics thrown around like candy at Halloween, and there’s lots of blast beats. The sound on FALL OF THE DESPISED is about on par with a lot of the bigger bands in this style; it’s rather clean and focuses on guitars and drums.
Throughout the album the band show off the typical tricks that exemplify their style: lots of fast blast beat sections, mid-paced groove riffing with pinch harmonics randomly thrown in, gore lyrics, and vocals that range from extremely low and guttural to mildly low and guttural. Let’s face it, the band aren’t doing anything new nor are they doing anything that’s terribly interesting. They certainly aren’t putting any new energy or vigour into a style that’s been done millions of times; they aren’t pushing the boundaries nor are they exemplifying the style or writing songs that can be held up to the masters. The one thing Severe Torture do well are solos and they do those incredibly well, the solo sections in most of the songs almost make the album worth listening to. It’s also one of the most frustrating things as the band even creates some interesting sections to go around some of these great solos (see “Endless Strain of Cadavers”) yet can’t seem to write anything else worthwhile.
Severe Torture are just another band in a long line of brutal death metal acts, there’s talent here for something else, something that isn’t so typical but apparently the band refuse to recognize it.