Severe Torture

A Taste for Butchery

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Death metal traditionalists who are averse to change will appreciate the work of Severe Torture and Blood Red Throne, two outfits that willfully stay within the confines of the genre's mid-'90s heyday. A Taste for Butchery is a hodgepodge of demos, long-lost EP tracks, and other miscellany -- six tracks from both acts. Holland's Severe Torture rises from the Cannibal Corpse school of blood-puking gore metal, complete with bursting-heart pitter-patter drums, cookie-cutter riffing, and a typically laughable, cupped-microphone vocal arglebargle. Cuts "Butchery of the Soul" and "Pray for Nothing" are representative of Severe Torture's lack of inspiration beyond trying to out-brutalize the competition with random riff salads and arrangements with so many left turns, one ends up worse for wear back at the beginning. Blood Red Throne exhibits more promise, being the project of one-time Emperor collaborator Tchort, who apparently balances the vast artistic canvas of his ambitious and progressive outfit Green Carnation with this, a straightforward death/thrash metal blast that recalls a simpler, more controlled version of Morbid Angel. "Mary Whispers of Death" and "Malignant Nothingness" offset technical thrash power chording with bursts of speed within relatively traditional arrangements; although the songs are fairly well executed, they're not particularly memorable either. Ultimately, both Severe Torture and Blood Red Throne should make death metal aficionados more appreciative of the genre's more adventurous acts -- Nile, Morbid Angel, Arch Enemy, and Akercocke come to mind -- and the output of said bands is wholly recommended over the tired and derivative work found on A Taste for Butchery.

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