Torn Asunder

Recollections

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AllMusic Review by

Torn Asunder's tortuous ten-year path to this, their first LP, included countless small-time gigs throughout their native New England, numerous record company rejection notices, and even a temporary break-up -- leaving little doubt as to the nature of the Recollections referenced by its title. Yes, they are not, for the most part, very upbeat ones, but rather tend toward the darker, bleaker, nihilistic worldview on tracks bearing telltale names like "Hope Is for the Weak" and "Words I Disavow." Not surprisingly, singer Rusty Asunder's often beautifully miserable gothic poetry resembles that of English death/doom depressives such as Paradise Lost and My Dying Bride -- making for an interesting and stark contrast with the band's generally mid- to fast-paced, groove-based American death metal. The music is not overtly technical on par with, say Suffocation, Immolation, or the other several "-ations" out there, but it does partake of these acts' crushing, quasi-tuneless bouts of riffing, as well as equally frequent forays into densely stacked guitar melodies and harmonies. "The Seventh Seal" and "Legends" are both good examples of this, restlessly switching gears, time signatures, and clean and dirty dynamics for what amounts to mostly memorable yet rarely explosive results. "Words I Disavow," "Weights & Measures," and "Revelations" finally bow to New England metalcore devices with very tentative forays into spoken vocals à la Killswitch Engage, yet never at the expense of the aforementioned brutality. All in all, Recollections is a strong though far from life-altering debut; it won't transform Torn Asunder into an overnight success story, but it won't embarrass their girlfriends, either.

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