By Christine Leonard
Torche – Admission
Miami sludge-slingers Torche open the floodgates to a tide of bludgeoning downstrokes and impenetrable riffage with Admission.
A prelude to fear, the first cut, “From Here,” surveys an urban wasteland through eerie melting harmonies before the divine onslaught of “Submission” strikes an authoritative stance that strains and heaves over what it has conquered.
The uphill battle continues as Torche dives into the deep end of the groove mine, demonstrating what 15 years of grinding down their rough edges sounds like. Wall-high guitar surges and stealthy percussion reflect the punishing summer heat, while oiled up “Slide” and pyroclastic “Time Missing” model their muscular mortal physiques.
Power and restraint collide as “What Was,” “Extremes of Consciousness” and “Infierno” wrestle against internal strife and social self-immolation. Even still the cascading crescendos and cool fluidity of “Reminder,” “On the Wire,” and “Changes” prove hardy enough to bear the weight of Torche’s soft underbelly.
One of the bright spots that parts the album’s apocalyptic clouds, the beautifully intricate title track pierces polluted heavens and heart with brilliant streaks of inspiration. A pensive but passionate album, Admission radiates an ominous sadness that descends directly from the seasoned band’s realization and appreciation of life’s impermanence.
Torche perform in Vancouver at Venue Nightclub on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Best Track: Slide