Inspired by the Terrorizer
40 albums of the year poll, I was inspired to compile a set of reviews of the albums they deemed to be the best of the last year. And
so I begin with Meanderthal
, a sludgy tour de force that rocks hard and is one of the heaviest sounding records of the year. Buried well inside its swampy appeal is a spectacular blend of catchy rock and roll tunes and the same type of low end bass and drumming approach that makes the average metal fan enjoy Mastodon
and High on Fire
so much. The tracks aren’t particularly long, but so infectious in their almost pop rock melodies that you will listen to them repeatedly, instantly tripling the length of the album (once you’ve heard Grenades, you’ll understand my point).
Steve Brooks, founder and vocalist for Torche
has been quoted saying that he likes putting an idea down and getting it done with without trying to drag it on for 20 minutes. Meanderthal
is the perfect representation of this idea, with tiny epic Little Champion
lasting only an essential 35 seconds before the next track comes in. The lively Healer and simple thunder of Across the Shields
are particular highlights of an album that continually impresses in scope and simplicity, and the 6 minute Mastodon
aping Amnesian is an essential entry into the stoner/sludge/doom canon.
But ultimately it is the low end rumbling thunder of the title track that swings it for me. That
the band have managed to marry this heaviness to such infectious pop choruses and verses is just excellent, and long may Torche
continue this into further releases.