One glance at the cover of Blo.Torch’s eponymous debut and you’d think it was a hardcore record — metal-core, at best. But, alas, 90’s metal has long since progressed beyond predictability, both in sound and vision. Case in point: At the Gates’ Slaughter of the Soul , a black-/death-/power-metal hybrid of steamroller proportions, a record that placed equal emphasis on melody, aggression, dynamics, and complexity; plus, it didn’t have a stereotypically “metal” cover (actually, quite stylish). So, it comes as no surprise that Denmark’s Blo.Torch ape said record with considerable aplomb — so considerable that they’d qualify as a cover band, minus the original ‘s elan and wicked charm.
Regardless of this derivation, Blo.Torch otherwise remains aesthetically sound, their songs as hook-laden as they are structurally complex — equally suited for both hairwhipping and calculus homework. But the band isn’t too highbrow not to toss keen dynamics into the equation; after all, “power” in music largely hinges on the emphasis of transitions. And they certainly are in touch with their emotions, especially when they reference the most-referenced bunch of metallic mourners, My Dying Bride, albeit on a caffeine binge (e.g., the misleadingly titled “King of Karnage”). Still, for as tight as Blo.Torch ‘s seams are, so is the grip of the albatross of derivation.
Earache America, 295 Lafayette St, Suite 915, New York, NY 10012-2700; http://www.earache.com