Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog) (last update 5/23/2017)

March 16, 2010

Torture Squad ~ Pandemonium

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Style: black metal, thrash, Brazilian
Label: Voice Music
Year: 2003
Home: Sau Paolo, Brazil

Members: Vitor Rodrigues ~ vocals
Maurício Nogueira ~ guitar
Castor ~ bass, b. vocals
Amílcar Christófaro ~ drums

I willingly confess to having trouble with music where I can't understand what's being sung - except when it's a non-English album then it's okay, but it's hard to not try to understand your native tongue - but this band bridges that with having two voices: a deep throated muddy growl & a second high pitched to counter it. This combination one finds in operetic bands such as Lacuna Coil, but these guys bring something refreshing to it. & both of them are some best growlers I've heard. To untrained ears a growl is a growl, but like any form of singing to do it well requires control of the voice & the ability to vary the tone & there is indeed good & bad deep throat singing. If you want to learn how to sing in this style check out Pandemonium. Actually, if you want some hints on how to play thrash check out Pandemonium. No reason to focus only on the singer when this is a stellar release across the board. This is hardcore head-banging music with attractive rhythms & regular rythmic changes in the arrangements to show a sense of variety, something I find often missing from second generation thrash bands. Though, the songs do have a tendency to sound alike, even to the point where you can't tell where one ends & the other begins, but with the rhythmic changes within each song you're not bound to get bored. Further, the drumming doesn't lean on constant double bass, which is often the most annoying thing I find with a band. These guys let their thrash roots of Metallica to often breathe through their unforgetable arrangements. Speaking of unforgetable arrangements be forewarned: there's a spooky acoustic instrumental with spooky graveyard sounds that'll hit you unexpectantly but is far from a distraction. The one problem I have with albums of this style is the lyrics. I tend to not hear a thing that's being said & being a very literate guy I want to, even if I can understand what's being said. Any message is lost on me as I get lost in the music. Albeit, the themes of this album, like others of it's kind, include world misery & horrors, so some might say it's nothing new to worry about. But, drowning lyrics aside, according to their myspace, one Brazilian magazine called this the greatest Brazilian metal album. I haven't heard much Brazilian metal, but so far I'm sold & I'll be looking for them to come to town.

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