Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Swedglish Update Deluxe - Torture Division, Synebrychoff


GRADE: 9/10

The three incredibly sexy members of Torture Division have been dominating the death metal scene for the past five years. If, for whatever reason, you've failed to listen to the band by now, you have few excuses - they release all of their songs for free, downloadable from their website. How often do bands do that and survive for five years? Hint: Never. So the fact that these guys have continued to release quality death metal for this long is outstanding in itself. When you hear just how good it is, you'll be hard-pressed not to buy a plane ticket to Sweden so you can personally hand-deliver the band your first-born child, your credit card, your clothes, and your motorcycle.

The band (to this point) has released their songs a few at a time, typically three sets of three per "album". "Satan, Sprit och Våld" (which I'm pretty sure translates to "Pastrami, Taxis and Coldbeer") is the second demo of the current set (the third set, if my count is right). If that makes no sense or is wrong, tough shit, I write the goddamn reviews around here. Personally I find this approach to be genius, as it gives the listener plenty of time to get intimate with the songs, cuddle with them, learn about their feelings, and just really get to know them overall. Right before you take the plunge, get down on one knee, and profess your undying love to the demo, ready to take on its last name, another demo comes along and makes you completely forget about the original. Until that awkward moment when it randomly shows up on shuffle uninvited and asks for an explanation of where the hell you've been and why you never called, of course.

Anyhoochie, this demo immediately strikes me as different than the ones before. It's not better or worse than the other fantastic songs previously released by the band, I just appreciate them in a different way. Whereas before you could certainly count on the tracks to be blistering, fantastic displays of what death metal truly should be, this demo loads down on something that really accentuates and brings out the robustness of the band - groooooove (as previously seen on albums such as "Groovy Train 2: Electric Groovaloo"). Don't worry, your favorite death metal band hasn't gone soft, they've just incorporated some new elements into the songs. Think of it like a chocolate-vanilla swirl ice cream cone, except the vanilla is death metal, the chocolate is groove, and the cone is an anus. Made of metal.

The first track, "Cirkelstryk", opens up at a slower pace than the intense explosion you may have become accustomed to with previous Torture Division tracks, then quickly shifts pace to the band you know and love. It's a great track to open off the album and keeps pace with the high standard these guys have set for themselves. You may detect hints of the groove I spoke of here and then, but nothing too prevalent. Once the track ends, though, you're in for a real treat. The next track, "Otukt", is by far the highlight of the demo, and stands out as one of my favorite TD tracks ever. Seriously, if you don't headbang from beginning to end through this track, you hate metal, Sweden, beer, sex, babies, and sexy beer-drinking Swedish metal babies. If you can only download one track from this demo (which would be retarded, since they're all free), get "Otukt". You will find a way to print out an mp3 just so you can make love to paper the song is printed on (painfully). This song is where most of the groove I speak of on this demo lies. Everything about this track is just about perfect, from J's always-stellar growls, to K's guitar playing (seriously, is this guy is the death metal riff fucking master or what), and Golden T's amazing drumming (he transitions from a groovy backbeat to a tight, punishing blastbeat more smoothly than the smoothest of man-dongs). Ending the demo is "Satan, Sprit och Våld", which continues to deliver more of the TD you know and love. It's hard to describe as vividly as "Otukt" since I pretty much used my allotment of similes, adjectives and metaphors on that song, and I'm always still riding its high going into the final track, but it's no less awesome than even the worst TD track (which is still better than 95% of death metal currently out).

If my words have not been enough to convince you to go download these three completely free tracks, then go buy some Justin Bieber and Adele CDs, now. Otherwise, head over to their website and check them out. Then, after thanking me for informing you about the best band you've ever heard, donate some money to them so that they can continue to put out more music like this. The end.


Going with the Swedish theme, I tried to get a beer from Sweden to sample for this review. Unfortunately, Swedish beers are hard to come by around here. So, we're going to make this a Scandinavian theme, because fuck you. The lone beer I was able to find among Norway, Sweden and Finland was a Finnish beer called Synebrychoff Porter. I asked someone I know in Finland about this beer and he had never heard of it, so obviously I'm off to a fantastic start.

The beer itself ended up being pretty good. It's a little stronger than your standard porter (the standard porter around here, anyway), and I could see a few of these putting me on my ass (especially with my tolerance being miniscule after my recent run-in with bodily organ removal). It's got a strong start and an even stronger finish, with coffee/dark roasted undertones at the end. It's probably not a beer you'd start the day off with, but more of a mid-to-end range beer, something to build up to and cap off the night with. I'd rate the beer higher than the Sierra porter I had a few reviews ago, but I don't have any food to pair it with to make the orgasmic explosion in my mouth like that one did, so I'll give it a 7/10.

Overall, another positive experience with all things Scandinavian. Someone work on moving everyone and everything from there to here so get some more street cred. Thanks.

- Hops

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