‘FEEL GOOD METAL’, much like ‘DOOM SOUL‘. is a phrase I never expected to use in a positive context. If Doom Soul is the type of music that Darth Vader unwinds to after torturing a rebel alliance, then Feel Good Metal must be what Ewoks dance and sing to after helping Cindel defeat Terak (HUUUGE brownie points for those that get this reference). TORCHE has been described as feel good metal; they blend poppy hooks with grinding, thrash-paced guitars and drums. When news of the new album emerged, I expected it would help me cope with the Hoth-like environment I currently find myself living in. (Apologies, for my STAR WARS kick.)
The first thing that struck me about RESTARTER was the album cover…and what an album cover it is; that is if you like Canadian Geese pensively peering out windows into dreary wilderness (I, do not).
My befuddlement of the album cover aside, this is a grimey, yet fun album! Abandoned are the melodic pop structured tunes of HARMONICRAFT (which is unfortunate), Restarter tends to revert back to earlier sounds of their SELF-TITLED and even MEANDERTHAL era. It’s not long after being succumbed to the punishing trio of “Annihilation Affair” “Bishop In Arms”, and “Minions” that the listener realizes this is a heavier album, with very few lighter, humorous respite to be found (move along, no ‘Kiss Me Dudely’s’ to be found here).
“Blasted” is the closest to HARMONICRAFT the band comes to on this album, and even that sounds like it’s been playing in the mud pits of Dagobah for the past hour (reference #4, booyah).
The down-tuned barrage continues with tracks like “Believe It” and “No Servants” where the band is honing in more on that stoner rock groove and repetitive nature.
One of the gripes with this band has always been the occasional ad nauseam recycling of a riff. ‘Restarter’, similar to ‘Out Again’, plods on way too long for my tastes, but these guys have their signature sound, and who am I to question their hard rock intellect?
This album is a runaway truck; each song practically tripping over the next to end at a tidy 39 minutes. Sadly, these straightforward hard rock riffs are nothing Torche hasn’t covered before in their career. The effort sums up as another solid (not great) effort by the Miami quartet, ala Return Of The Jedi (lets end here before I beat a TaunTaun to death).
…But seriously, if anyone can tell me what the hell’s going on with the album, please step forward.