Torche – Harmonicraft

Bringing all the elements that have made them standout previously US riff monsters Torche return with their third full length album “Harmonicraft”. The band again unleash the things that made earlier releases like “Meanderthal” and “Songs For Singles” so infectious and enjoyable, but whilst strapping them into place within “Harmonicraft” the quartet has managed to make them even bigger, better, and more addictive. The album offers up what one would expect from the band without truly stretching into new pastures but it is just larger, bolder, even more in the face, and simply an immense enjoyment.
The album sees new guitarist Andrew Elstner joining vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks, bassist Jonathan Nuñez , and drummer Rick Smith, submerging the ear in crashing waves of towering riffs, fiery melodies, and heavy consuming intensity. The twelve songs either rampage or stroll through the ear but consistently with thunderous riffs which resonate down to the toes and melodic metal which twists and turns the senses inside out with an acidic prowess that can only be admired whilst being scorched. The album also has a lighter feel if that is possible with a Torche release, but there is a grin to the whole thing that lifts and adds to the pleasure.
From the moment opener ‘Letting Go’ surges through the skull with rampant riffs and pummelling rhythms punctured with sharp caustic melodic guitar play, one knows they are on another pulsating Torche ride. The track riles up the emotions and fires up the eagerness to get involved which the following ‘Kicking’ only enforces. With a main melodic riff which tastes wonderfully of Scottish band Skids, the track teases with varying pace and manipulative melodic invention.
As it brings each and every persistently mischievous song to play with the emotions the album reveals a strong diversity within the overall tumultuous Torche attack. The likes of the Foo Fighters does punk ‘Walk It Off’, the power pop fuelled ‘Roaming’, and ’In Pieces’ with its heavy metal/stoner oppressive flow, all bring a varied and colossal sound to immerse within.
The wonderful folk metal infused ‘Snakes Are Charmed’, the excellent mesmeric and insatiable ‘Sky Trials’, and the pulsating hypnotic instrumental title track, leap out as best tracks on what is a stunning album, each in varying ways lights up the senses like incendiary devices.
“Harmonicraft” is an excellent album that sets Torche as still one of the most absorbing bands around. (9/10) 

Pete RingMaster 

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