In a world of heavy music that is angularly divided along strict lines of genre […]
August 12, 2019
Torche - Admission album cover

In a world of heavy music that is angularly divided along strict lines of genre and subgenre, one can think of the landscape carefully laid out mirroring that of a planned suburban neighborhood.  It seems that is the way the powers that be want things arranged so as to be able to market music more effectively and efficiently.  In art, though, things are never so easily conceived and detached.  Genres overlap and a rich history of music causes sounds and ideas to seep into the consciousness of the creators so as to allow them to write music devoid of autocratic oversight.  Take, for example, Miami's TORCHE.  Formed in 2004, the band have released five full-length albums outside the periphery of neat classification.  Along the way, the band have garnered rave reviews across the spectrum of press as well as cementing a solid, dedicated, and devoted fan base.

"Admission" is decidedly the band's most focused and solid release to date.  Since 2015's "Restarter," there has been a significant lineup change with Jonathan Nuñez taking over on guitars following the departure of Andrew Elstner.  Having previously played bass, Nuñez's contribution to the songwriting and overall sound cannot be overstated as he also sat behind the desk for the recording as well as mixing the album.  The end result is nothing short of studio magic.

It is indeed the production that allows for the unbridled flourishing of "Admission".  This is an album that thanks to the use of myriad dynamics is catapulted with its peaks and valleys.  "From Here," the opening track, is an intense offering full of aggression that is short, sweet, and dramatically to the point.  As the second song, "Submission," kicks in, the album is firmly set in motion.  One is immediately hooked by the extremely catchy melody overshadowed by a palpable eerie vibe.  It is as if TORCHE have made a mission statement with the intent of combining the energy and sweat of their live sound with the spectral fantasies lurking within their collective subconscious during nocturnal dream states.  Truly, this ability to tap into what lies beneath the surface of normal cognizance is what mobilizes art causing it to sublimely arise from the ether and moreover propagate amongst listeners.

As the album progresses, one is led, hand in hand, through dimly-lit catacombs of emotion and atmosphere.  Each song is like a different room in a sprawling mansion constructed by the band's adept ability to combine myriad feelings into a vast array of songs.  Contrasting other songs contained within is the sixth track, a proudly Pop-infected track bearing the title's name.  "Admission" is a song that could be all over radio, sure to appeal to a broad spectrum of people, a gateway drug perhaps to initiate newcomers into the fold.  It is staunchly constructed yet loose in its infectious capability as it lays outside the commonly held perceptions of mainstream Rock.

The seventh track, "Reminder," is a gargantuan track held together by a main riff that serves as a call to worship to listeners bidding them to, one by one, dutifully path their respects at the altar of TORCHE.  The album ends on a high note with certainly its strongest track, "Changes Come".  This final track is a song that brings to mind mournful goodbyes strangely brightened by subtle rays of hope.  It has a Shoegaze ambiance with a driving beat, a powerfully gripping closer that sums the evocative themes of the album in an ethereal haze that irradiates the soul with the synergistic bond of music at its most captivating and hypnotic level.

Loud, raucous guitars that can also soothe the soul and promote mental elasticity decorate "Admission".  Combined with a powerful rhythm section and Steve Brooks's soulful, trippy vocals the TORCHE sound is set into motion.  With the absence of ISIS still felt, TORCHE rightfully sits at the helm of a musical movement that attracts fans of affecting, monolithic music to move both the body and the soul.  Without doubt, this is one of the most poignant, enrapturing albums released this year and one that will surely remain a favorite throughout.

9 / 10

Almost Perfect








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"Admission" Track-listing:

1. From Here
2. Submission
3. Slide
4. What Was
5. Times Missing
6. Admission
7. Reminder
8. Extremes of Consciousness
9. On the Wire
10. Infierno
11. Changes Come

Torche Lineup:

Steve Brooks - Guitars, Vocals
Jonathan Nuñez - Guitars
Rick Smith - Drums
Eric Hernandez - Bass

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