REVIEW: TORTURED DEMON- RISE OF THE LIFELESS (2023)

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“Few bands can claim to have played a festival set so hard that the stage broke,” reckons the press release that came with Tortured Demon’s debut.

And I’m sat there being smug, thinking about the time that I saw Terrorvision at JB’s in Dudley and the floor collapsed while the band sang “You fat bastards!” at the crowd.

Then I saw this line: “Fewer still can claim to have done so when still barely teens.”

That Terrovision gig? The late 90s. That means that none of TD were born. Your humble scribe feels a mixture of sadness at being so old and pride that the thrash torch is being passed to another generation.

Make no mistake, that’s what’s going on here. “Rise Of The Lifeless” sees Jacob Parkinson find vocals that do that not-quite-death-metal thing that Alexi Laiho used to do when Children Of Bodom were at their peak, and that’s a reasonable reference point for the Mancunians.

“Virtual Death” and the likes are thrash, but they’re from the heavier end. More Hellripper than Tailgunner (if you’re looking for modern references) but the quartet, are classy way beyond their years (sorry for sounding like an old bloke here). “Global Threat” commits some serious thuggery, and Billy Hourigan’s guitar contributes to a vicious beatdown.

And it is relentless. “Conflict Of Intrest” slashes and burns, “Erase Your Life” is shorter and more brutal, as if they’re trying to salt the earth to kill what the others have missed and these songs have an impressive length too. “This War Will Come To You” (which sounds less like a threat, by the way, than a promise) is five minutes of pummelling, before they end with a quasi-prog effort, “The Damage Is Done”. All seven minutes of its barren landscape.

“Rise Of The Lifeless” is their second record. Their list of achievements is already myriad – the stage they broke was at Bloodstock for example – but none of that matters, not really, what matters is this album is superb. Classic enough to understand its influences, modern enough to sound fresh (and thus probably scare people my age with their battle jackets).

Sometimes you hear a band and you know. You know they’re a cut above the local scene. Sometimes you hear a band with so much ambition, they won’t be contained or restrained. Step forward Tortured Demon.

Rating 8.5/10

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