STYLE: Hard Music RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 21494- LABEL: Bombworks BWR0607 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1
Reviewed by Jonathan Langley
A dragon in chains, a crimson-robed stranger, fire exploding from his eyes and a flaming sword, all melodramatically sketched in mostly primary colours beneath a band name so covered in thorns/flames/spikes it is hard to read: could this be a Christian metal album? Why, yes it could. And San Francisco-based Tortured Conscience are in no danger of misleading you with their album cover. "Brutal, technical, grinding death metal" as the publicity accurately puts it, accompanies simple, overt lyrics dealing with everything from Westboro Baptist Church ("Modern Day Pharisee") to pluralism within Christian theology ("New Trend") as well as Biblical themes. Pleasingly, the simplicity of the lyrics does not imply simplicity of thought, though their understated intelligence is impossible to hear. Vocalist Berto Salas defines this band's sound with his deep throaty growls that echo like ancient tombs and contrast nicely with the girlie rasps of the likes of Cradle Of Filth so popular these days. The music is so fast it's impossible to keep up, the street-battle machine-gun beats eventually giving more texture than groove, oddly making some songs drag. For fans of Dying Fetus, Vadar and Vulgar Pigeons this album's heaviness and intensity will be heavenly. To the uninitiated it will sound like hell.
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