ALBUM REVIEW: Torche – Admission

Release Date: July 12th 2019
Label: Relapse Records


Torche was formed by Steve Brooks, Johnathon Nuñez, Rick Smith, and Juan Montoya, who were involved in an array of other bands and different styles before getting together.

Since their formation back in 2004, the only member to leave was Juan Montoya in December 2008, and original bassist Nuñez moved to guitar duties in 2017 allowing for current bassist Eric Hernandez to enter the fold. Now, having released four EPs and four full-length albums, we experience their latest incarnation, ‘Admission’.

Thundering with fuzzy distortion, ‘From Here’ impacts from the first chord, and is backed with distant and echoing vocals that hark back to the days of early industrial bands such as Orgy and Gravity Kills.

Leading with similar gravitas, follower ‘Submission’ extends the format with wailing synths, while the rhythms from Rick Smith retain a constant repetition to maintain a singular continuity that the other instruments can play around.

Bouncing with riotous punk attitude, ‘What Was’ takes us to the realms of punk with a blast of energetic, up-tempo rhythms that initially gives the impression of taking us in a completely different direction before the lacklustre vocals from Brooks fail to back up the aggressive overtones.

Adding in progressive elements, the record’s title-track creates a powerful soundscape of distorted guitars mixed with wailing guitar strings and delayed vocals that give it a dated feel yet work effectively as a whole.

Grinding the bones, ‘Infierno’ laments with max distortion and minimal pace to turn the landscape into a sombre drudge of torment as the lyrics describe the unrelenting torture of heat. While admittedky this is no lyrical masterpiece, the change in piece and stripped back instrumentation create the appropriate atmosphere for the lyrics.

Though ‘Admission’ isn’t a terrible album, it’s as if the different elements were cherry-picked from bands that influenced them, and instead of creating something with flourishes that’s their own, they’ve left them as they are with a sound that has a rather jaded and dated air to it.