Torso – A Crash Course in Terror
Release date: 27/01/2023
Running time: 30:00
Review by Alun Jones
BLEEAUURRRGH!!! It’s a jump scare to wake anyone out of hibernation, running for safety behind the sofa. What a way to start the year! APF records present “A Crash Course in Terror”, the debut album from Torso. Formed from the smouldering corpse of Possessor by that band’s Graham Bywater (frontman / guitarist), Torso skulk in a murky Grindhouse nightmare.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin. ‘Heads Start to Roll’ introduces the album with a John Carpenter-esque, menacing, keyboard-led theme which immediately unsettles the listener. Then the chainsaw guitars cut through, the song erupts, and the listener is dragged along by the scalp in a ferociously paced fairground ride from hell.
The retro, electro keyboard themes dotted throughout help to set this album apart in its own fuzzy VHS world. Spooky instrumentals like ‘Pranks’, ‘Depth Charge’ and ‘Death TV’ add a dread atmosphere, part Prog and part video nasty soundtrack.
‘Sinking Spell’ is like The Melvins rocking out to a Texas Chainsaw Massacre back projection. The lo-fi, raw sound of the heavier numbers keeps everything within the Torso world: ‘Precious Blood’ could be a punked up hybrid of Angel Witch and Electric Wizard. Finally, the epic ‘Circuit Breaker Breaker’ has a B-movie, doom metal fury that sounds as if the final survivor is running for their life from a vicious psycho killer.
My only complaint with this album is that at just 30 minutes, it’s a little short – I’d have loved another 5 minutes of mayhem. But at least “A Crash Course in Terror” is to the point. That’s much preferable to yet another 80-minute Metallica album – I haven’t finished listening to all the songs on their last record yet…
“A Crash Course in Terror” by Torso. A fantastic, gruesome recording and a perfect start to the year. Can 2023 get any better?
01. Heads Start to Roll
03. Sinking Spell
04. Depth Charge
05. Precious Blood
06. Death TV
07. Circuit Breaker Breaker
Graham Bywater – All instrumentation and lyrics
Wayne Adams – Keyboards on 2, 4 and 7
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