Severe Torture - Sworn Vengeance Review
by Matt Hensch
Has Severe Torture finally acquired that special edge they needed to feast with the higher order of death metal bands? I mean with everything being said about Sworn Vengeance, one could probably guess they were already buying beers for Cannibal Corpse and worshiping Satan with Deicide, yet there's a little tizzy prowling in the midst: they still aren't. You see, Severe Torture's invasion plan here is divided into two aggressive fronts: bomb the enemy with mutilating death metal, and then proceed to demonstrate absolute dullness by attacking at the same musical rates non-stop. While nuking the complete shit out of something would probably work well in war, it really doesn't here; Sworn Vengeance is brutal as a hammer-meets-skull episode, yet you'll only find emptiness inside that hollow head after looking past such brute force. If this record were some random guy, he would probably be found with severed heads, algebra textbooks, buckets of drool, and one stupid facial expression that just smells like retardation.
So how does Severe Torture fare during this complex demonstration, you ask? Very good at first glance, because you're quickly tossed into mechanical riffs, digging barks, cranking bass lines, punishing blastbeats, and solos that sting like shrapnel without warning; and it's all layered together quite nicely as well. I think the pure bloodthirstiness of it all is entirely obvious, but there are a few moments of solid breaking into chopping mid-paced sections of sturdy instrumentation with cringing death metal overtones. Severe Torture will definitely rip out your intestines if you aren't careful, and anyone that's looking at this relentless walloping should be appropriately armed in case these maniacal madmen get too destructive.
But when diving further into Sworn Vengeance, you'll find it a lot like an attractive member of the opposite sex: good looks with a vacant head. Besides mathematical arrangements and furious altitudes, we have ten songs that are essentially very similar when stacked together as so. Basically, The Netherlands' fierce crusaders apply pounding violence without adding a single quality that's remotely vibrant or colorful; it's just brutal death metal lacking needed variety. After this whole listening affair, it becomes really clear other things are needed aside from blasting or insane shredding, and you'll also notice how predictable it gets toward the end due to cycling the same path endlessly. Severe Torture's special blade might have the power to puncture like a jackhammer, yet the wielders of such power experience devastating injuries themselves; quite a double-edged sword they brought into battle.
Now what Severe Torture offers with Sworn Vengeance is rather pleasant at times, yet there's just that overwhelming stench of general tastelessness plaguing goodness when it could actually be flavorful and filling. The fourth Severe Torture outing represents technical death metal at fatal limits; however, there must be more activity in order for an album like Sworn Vengeance to vitally function, and that's the only thing these Dutch cannibals forgot when forging such an expendable album. Pick up Sworn Vengeance if you're a fan of this band, but other onlookers should be wary of the novice-laden expertise lurking inside a plastic disc covered in blastbeats, scholarly riffs, deep growls, and nothing else.
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Severe Torture - Sworn Vengeance
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