The year was 1985 or maybe even in 1986. I had a few dollars in my pocket and nothing better to do than head over to the local record store to flip through the bins. I never really had much in the way of extra cash as a young teen, so the used vinyl and bargain bins were where I usually started to dig. I remember it clearly to this day as I was flipping through the 50 cent bin, and I came across these cool-looking albums by Torch. Their EP FIRE RAISER and their debut full-length TORCH. They had a look, so I bought them both and still had enough for an ice cream cone! Oh, the simpler times.
To this day, I still have both of those albums. I got into them for a while back then, but things were getting faster and heavier, and the metal was coming from all directions, so keeping up with bands could get a bit tricky.
Torch began in Sweden in 1979 right around that NWOBHM movement. Their music back then, as it is today, is drenched with that style but with an edgier, hard rock feel to it. The funny thing about coming across their latest effort is the same premise. Only this time, I was browsing a list of promo releases, and when I saw their name, I had to download it.
Torch was active from ’79 to ’86. From what I can gather, vocalist Dan Dark reformed the band with new players around 2003 to play some shows and have not looked back. The result was a highly regarded release in 2009 titled DARK SINNER. One which I have not heard, but am I glad to have given this one a spin.
Regarding their current style, the evolution of Torch’s sound has not strayed too far from where they originated. It has it’s hard and heavy moments throughout most of the disc with a couple of more ballad type tracks in the mix. So there are plenty of fist throwing and headbanging moments sure to please even the pickiest metalheads.
Torch is not reinventing the wheel at all here. What the band is doing is just playing some damn good heavy metal that, yes, may sound a bit dated, but was just what I needed a couple of weeks ago, so I have truly enjoyed being reacquainted with the band. For those of you who may remember these guys, you have got to check this album out. For the rest of you, these guys are right up there with the likes of Judas Priest, Accept, and Heavy Load.
Ian Greg – Bass
Steve Streaker – Drums
Chris J. First – Guitars
Dan Dark – Vocals
Håkky – Guitars