Release DetailsLABEL Crash Music
RELEASED ON 9/19/2006
posted on 10/2006 By:
I’ve been avoiding reviewing this release for about two weeks now, which is slightly strange for me. Even if I sit on an album for a while, it’s because I haven’t had time to get around to it, not because all I can come up with is staring at a blank Microsoft Word document trying to describe where Demise went wrong. By all accounts they’re not a terrible band, but neither are they anything to get too riled up about. In fact, I think this is one of the most middle of the road, average releases I’ve had to sit through thus far.
Demise plays a faceless sort of Polish melodic death metal that’s little more than a regurgitation of all the ideas we’ve heard before. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t have their own distinct voice taking place in the compositions, it’s just that sometimes I think the cliché surpasses their own auspicious ingenuity. To put it bluntly, this is perhaps the most mundane and frighteningly average album I’ve had to review.
The material present on Torture Garden spans over nearly the entirety of an hour. Under different circumstances this might be a great thing, but considering that the material completely craps out after the halfway point, this means that a good fifty percent of the album is composed of lackluster filler. Even the stronger tracks like “Torture Garden”, “Revelation”, and “Ravaged” are extremely like-minded, that’s frankly a little too similar throughout for my tastes. There are some good cuts and some pretty great moments present sparkled here and there, but it’s not enough to save the album in its entirety. Everything past “Evil Deeds” should have been chopped off, but instead, the album drags on for an entire half hour before “Never Ending Pain” finally closes Torture Garden with an instrumental that applies some of the most obnoxious synthesizers I’ve heard in my life.
Granted the inclusion of clean vocals interjected through the standard throaty snarls breaks up the monotony a bit, but half the time they don’t quite mesh well with the material all that well and way too often they simply leave a slightly uneasy feeling. As with the vocals, the guitars and drums seemed to have the right idea behind what they wanted to do, but somewhere along the application the whole thing got butchered. Everyone in Demise is a competent musician who can hold his own technique wise, but when it comes to writing interesting material the talent is rather devoid.
The involvement of James Murphy (ex-Testament, Cancer, Death, etc.) who mixed and mastered the album (he even lent a guitar solo to "Unjust”) is about the most notable highlight of Torture Garden. This is not a compliment, this is a reprimand. The most notable thing about your album should not come from outside the band. Though the ardent fans of melodic death might find a keeper with this one, those who are observers passing by are advised to move along.
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