Hypnotic is the best way to describe the swathes of sound created by doom/stoner crew Torche on their highly anticipated new album, Restarter. Whether it is slow droning doom or grooving stoner riffs, Torche simply hook you in from the moment this album kicks off with the groaning pulse of "Annihilation Affair".
Full of filthy riffs, Restarter is punishingly slow and repetitive at times, as demonstrated on "Minions," a track where, if Torche slowed it down any more, you'd swear they come to a complete standstill. However, for all those deliciously heavy, doomy, stoner riffs, there is no denying that Restarter is a beautifully-crafted piece of work, so much so, that when they up the tempo a notch or two on "Blasted", the end result is a slab of driving hard rock that doesn't look out of place hidden amongst the imposing stacks of droning, head-stoving distortion.
Fear not though as, afforded another top notch Kurt Ballou production effort, Restarter has a sound that may be built around suffocatingly heavy guitars but, courtesy of Ballou's talents, is so crystal clear it leaves plenty of room for Steve Brooks to add his own haunting vocals to the mix.
Pushing on to the end of this album, "Believe It" and "Barrier Hammer" are relentless in their droning heaviness as Restarter shows no sign of collapsing under the pressure of its own weight. Furthermore, midway through "Barrier Hammer", Torche seem to lose the shackles as they unleash an almighty wall of sound to send the album crashing into the final track, and what a final track! Pushing themselves to the boundaries of their sound, the title track rocks along for nearly nine minutes lost in its own infectious groove before Torche finally bring the curtain down on this incredible demonstration of boundary demolishing heaviness.
01. Annihilation Affair
02. Bishop In Arms
04. Loose Men
07. No Servants
08. Believe It
09. Barrier Hammer