Album Review: Torso – A Crash Course In Terror (APF Records)

Like the Terminator rising from the flames comes a new meaner, leaner beast from the brainchild of UK horror metal legends Possessor!

Less than a year since that band’s demise, frontman and axe wielder Graham Bywater returns like a spectral bad penny with Torso; the aural equivalent of a dayglo Dario Argento movie shot during an apocalypse in the early 90s.

A Crash Course In Terror is being released on vinyl LP, cassette tape, compact disc, t-shirt bundle and digital download via APF Records on January 27th, 2022.

Dripping in sinister horror-esqe vibes, the debut album of Torso is a mood-altering experience. A brooding, cinematically tinged, and low-fi example of grim and garish rock noise. One that wears its influences on its sleeve but doesn’t behave egregiously when it comes giving it a ‘grindhouse’ style feel.

The loss of Possessor hurt, so it’s great to hear Graham Bywater pushing on and moving forward here. A blend of eccentric, electrifying elements, and straight-up head-banging rock heaviness, layered with the sinister sounds of retro horror that is reminiscent of classic Giallo movies.

That’s the sense that cuts through on the eerie and mysterious intro of Heads Start to Roll. A track that transforms into an energetic blast of rolling hard rock, dominated by a lo-fi sound and frenetic riffs.

Interspaced throughout the album are snippets of ominous industrial effects, samples, synths and more. The first of which arrives in the form of the nasty, Pranks, but elsewhere the likes of Depth Charge, and Death TV break the album up into segments. Each really add memorable layers to the overall release.

Though, the real excitement comes from Torso’s high-energy rock and Sinking Spell’s moody and grunge-tinged style certainly delivers. As does the groove-infused foot-tapper and head-banger that is Precious Blood. A delightful level of snark to the vocals and some hefty riffs makes this one of the album’s grubbiest sounding tracks.

Though, there is no arguing with the top-shelf quality of Circuit Breaker Breaker either. The finale of the album is nearly eight-minutes long and sees Torso push the sound into intriguing progressive territories. Expansive in scope and style, the horror builds and builds, until a cacophony of intense rock power is unleashed.

Possessor may be six feet under now, but Torso has crawled out of the grave to stand garishly tall. Ignore the menacing grin on its face, it’s only got the best intentions.

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  • Carl Fisher

    Owner/Administrator/Editor/Writer/Interviewer/YouTuber - you name it, I do it. I love gaming, horror movies, and all forms of heavy metal and rock. I'm also a Discworld super-fan and love talking all things Terry Pratchett. Do you wanna party? It's party time!

Torso - A Crash Course In Terror (APF Records)
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