Review Summary: Torchbearer's debut album is a shows great talent and musicianship but it doesn't really add something new to the extreme-metal scene.Torchbearer
, a band that plays a very heavy and ferocious mix of death-metal and black-metal plus some ingredients from the thrash-metal genre, happens to be an extreme metal band from Sweden. Their latest album called Warnaments
had this type of mix but there were also some clear thrash elements and even some melody squeezed into the material. You can almost sense a pattern in their current material, as their first album was inspired by a huge episode back at the Middle Ages where the terrible Black Death was spreading and killing millions of people. Then in their second album they did the same, but now they focused on the First World War, a worthless war (like every goddamn war) that ended the lives of more millions of people in Europe. People who have followed the band's progress would surely be interested in what they are about to do next. Unfortunately this band is fairly new so that they haven't came across as a huge recognizable band but if they still move in their current direction they will definitely be one of the better bands within the extreme metal genre.
Yersinia Pestis; if you know some Latin or very good Latin you should have no problem understand those two words. I guess there are not many who understand Latin so I will give you some help, as I didn't know what those words meant but I suspected that they had something to do with disease. The correct translation should be the "scientific" name for The Plague; a horrible bacteria that killed more than millions of people in Europe during the Middles Ages. The rats were the ones responsible for spreading the bacteria amongst humans. There, you just had a small history lesson but I suggest that you go to school instead. Now to the real thing, as Yersinia Pestis
is also the name of Torchbearer's
debut album. This album does not have any thrash elements at all, at least in my opinion. I saw a couple of other reviews at random sites and there the author had written that this album was "blackened thrash", but unfortunately I can't agree. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that this album will please many death and black-metal fans, since here you have a great blend between these two genres. All the instruments are swapping between black and death-metal, mainly with the guitars. The bass is very clear and the drums puke out blast-beats and other high-speed drum parts. You also have the two different vocal styles; very deep but yet loud death-growls and loud, yell black-rasp-esque.
This is a band that I wanted to experience a long time ago but my interest for them cooled for a long period of time, then suddenly I got Warnaments
which I liked very much. Then I was very eager to get Yersinia Pestis
, and I searched for a while and finally got it, but I wasn't entirely exited when I listened to it. I found more favourite moments than favourite songs unfortunately. One thing I liked was the very dark and black atmosphere of the overall material. If there was to be music playing in the background during a horrible event this would be it. I would call this no-mercy music because it is very straight forward, aggressive and merciless. For a debut album they show incredible and tight musicianship, plus well-executed vocal work, which is a good thing with the songs since some of them are rather short. Some songs have a life span of two and a half minutes (more or less) while others have about four minutes, which makes them quite endurable.
This was a great debut album but there were a few things that didn't work out for me, with one thing being the lack or half-bad diversity in the drum work. Almost every song has these hyper-speeded blast-beats and double bass kicking, and there is hardly any diversity or variety in my opinion. The drums make the songs sometimes seem a bit one-dimensional if I say so. I also had a bit more favourite "moments" rather than favourite songs and that is because of the guitar work. It's an incredible performance, yes, but I can't find these fast black/death guitars catchy because I think that there is not as much technique in the riffs as I want (the drums also plays a part too).
I can't throw sh*t on this album because I think this is somewhat of an amazing debut album, and by that I mean everything: vocals, instruments, lyrical theme, you name it. The only thing is that I can't find is the catchiness on this album that was present on Warnaments
, which had more hooks, melody and diversity in the material. Yersinia Pestis
also had it but it didn't grabbed my attention nearly as well. A very important thing is also the matter of taste. This album was more like a bomb: it hits you too fast that you don't know what's happening, but their second album was more like a black holocaust moving at slower speed and you had time to prepare yourself for what was coming. People who like death and black-metal when it is fast, dark and brutal would really like this album, but people who like the same style of music but wants an "easier start" regarding this band should start with Warnaments
+ Excellent and incredible musicianship
+ The vocals help to create the dark atmosphere
+ A very solid, heavy and thick sound
+ Perfect blend between death and black-metal
- If you don't like fast and intense music this could be uninteresting
- Some songs might feel a bit one-dimensional
- It's a matter of taste but I thought that there were few catchy moments in this album
- The drummer has mad skills but a bit diversity/variety in the drum work wouldn’t hurt
-- Thus Came Dying Unto Kuffa
-- Faith Bled Dry
-- Shorespread God
Great debut album but it didn't caught my interest good enough, final rating will be a 3/5