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Torture: Storm Alert (reissue)

Originally released in 1989, Storm Alert from Torture has long been somewhat of an lost underground gem. Very typical of its time, the music on Storm Alert is no-holds-barred early death metal/thrash, very much in the school of early Slayer, Testament, Exodus, Annihilator, Destruction, Kreator, Sodom, Sacrifice, and Dark Angel. Littered with plenty of chugging riffs, pummeling drum work, and gravelly vocals, it's pretty obvious that the band was quite young at the time, as there's a certain brash yet amateurish quality to the music, but that's what gives it part of its charm. You can almost laugh to a song like "Dwell Into Surreality", with its silly lyrics and garbled vocals from Tom Hicks, but again, somehow it all works and really reminds me just how cool the 80's thrash scene was. Here, the band throw in plenty of crunchy riffs, acoustic guitar, some keyboards, and wild sweep picked guitar solos that totally rip. For some Slayer Show No Mercy type thrash, check out the raging "Igominious Slaughter", and if you like complex metal with brutal rhythms, intricate guitar and bass work, check out "Blood Portraits". You'll laugh your ass off at the Christmas parody "Slay Ride", bang your head with the breakneck pace of "Terror Kingdom" (someone say Reign in Blood?), revel in the progressive metal sounds of "Storm Alert", and raise your fist to the groove laden classic metal sounds of "Enter the Chamber", complete with a nimble bass solo from Deric Gunter. The two part instrumental "Whips" really pushes the envelope of thrash metal, as drummer Jerry Norland flails away like a man possessed while the twin guitar attack of Hicks and J.D. Robins lay down plenty of speedy & heavy riffs. The closing piece "Deceiver" is simply a crushing slice of brutal thrash, complete with complex guitar parts and venemous vocals.

Digitally edited and mixed by Neil Kernon, Storm Alert sounds kick ass for the rarity that it is, and honestly sounds as good as many of the top shelf new releases I have heard recently. Despite the naive nature of some of the material, this is brutal thrash that deserved to be recognized with a lot of what was popular back in the 80's. If you like any of the bands that I mentioned earlier in this review, then I highly recommend this 17 year old treasure to you.

Track Listing
1. Intro
2. Ignominious Slaughter
3. Dwell Into Surreality
4. Blood Portraits
5. Slay Ride
6. Terror Kingdom
7. Storm Alert
8. Enter The Chamber
9. Whips Pt. 1
10. Whips Pt. 2
11. Deceiver

Added: May 25th 2006
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: Torture Website
Hits: 2883
Language: english

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