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La Torre, Todd: Rejoice in the Suffering

Rejoice in the Suffering is the debut solo album from Queensryche lead vocalist Todd La Torre, but in reality it's really a collaboration with longtime friend, guitarist/songwriter/producer Craig Blackwell, as the duo have taken advantage of the downtime that has come with COVID 19 to put together a long gestating musical partnership that has resulted in one of 2021's hottest heavy metal releases. Chock full of molten guitar riffs, tasty solos, memorable melodies, and Todd's wide range of vocal styles, Rejoice in the Suffering takes the kind of melodic progressive metal/hard rock of what fans would normally expect from La Torre on recent Queensryche releases to new levels of heaviness and intensity. Tracks like "Dogmata", "Pretenders", "Darkened Majesty", "Critical Cynic", and the title track hit hard with major league impact, the stellar production values perfect displaying two musicians (oh, and Todd plays drums on the entire album, spectacularly I might add) who have so much history together, making it all work on every level. The vocalist not only displays some of his higher range that you normally hear in his main band, but there is a mid-range delivery, as well as an occasional guttural roar and even a growl or two, added to his arsenal that will delight longtime fans. As for Blackwell, he's a revelation, laying down a never ending assault of classic metal riffs that are as much diving into thrash realms as they are paying homage to '70s heavy rock and the NWOBHM. "Hellbound and Down", "Crossroads to Insanity", "Vexed", and "Vanguards of the Dawn Wall" are additional recommendations, but honestly, there's not a weak track to be found, and even the CD bonus cuts are a delight.

Take the majesty of recent Queensryche, the thrash assault of Overkill, the dark moodiness of Nevermore, and the intensity of Halford, and you have an idea of where Rejoice in the Suffering kind of plays in. Todd La Torre and Craig Blackwell have created one of 2021's must hear heavy metal releases, and it's sure to wind up on many Best of the Year lists come December...mark my words.

Track Listing
1. Dogmata
2. Pretenders
3. Hellbound and Down
4. Darkened Majesty
5. Crossroads to Insanity
6. Critical Cynic
7. Rejoice in the Suffering
8. Vexed
9. Vanguards of the Dawn Wall
10. Apology
Bonus Tracks (Deluxe Version Only)
11. Fractured
12. Set it Off
13. One by One

Added: March 11th 2021
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Artist Facebook Page
Hits: 758
Language: english

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