Released: 2015, earMusic
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
The third outing from Swedish all-stars The Resistance serves as both new release and “greatest hits” of sorts. The 10-track mini-album delivers six new songs, and two tracks each from the band's 2013 debut EP Rise of Treason and first album Scars from the same year – all as a build-up to a new full-length that is apparently headed our way later in the year.
The revved-up, no-frills and no-bullshit old school death/thrash metal the band – which features The Haunted vocalist Marco Aro, ex-In Flames guitarists Jesper Strömblad and Glenn Ljungström and ex-Grave drummer Chris Barkensjö – fashioned for the 2013 releases is that much leaner and meaner on Torture Tactics. Only one of the six new tracks, the chunky, chugging “Dead,” tops three minutes, with the blast beat-powered grinder “The Burning” just sneaking past the one-minute mark.
And nearly all of them rage hard, with Strömblad and Ljungström slashing away for all they're worth and leaving little room for the fanciful soloing and melodic dynamics that were typical of their time with In Flames. Yet you hardly miss that here given the unbridled, roughshod pummeling The Resistance deliver on the hurtling opener “For War” or the hardcore-tinged “Deception.”
The melancholy instrumental “Dying Words” is a bit of a throwaway – since not a lot happens. Indeed, it serves more as a tranquil segue from the rip-snorting new material to the, well, rip-snorting older material, a chance for the band to reload before firing away once again.
And fire away they do, with a vengeance. The 2013 tracks - “Slugger” and “Face To Face” from Rise of Treason, “Expand To Expire” and “I Bend You Break” from Scars – are modestly longer at three-plus minutes per, but no less vicious or intense. The d-beat crunch and swagger of “Slugger” and “Expand To Expire” and the sheer menace of “I Bend You Break” are imposing and brutally effective.
The soaring hook/chorus of “Face To Face” does offer a brief taste of In Flames-style catchiness. But it is forcibly countered by the gnashing main riffs and Aro's bellicose bark, so the song packs the kind of wallop In Flames has largely lacked since long before Strömblad made his exit in 2010. The same can be said for Torture Tactics, as a whole.