|Review: Torture Wheel - Crushed Under|
Label: Firebox Records
Year released: 2005
Genre: Doom Metal
Review online: October 26, 2006
Reviewed by: Lars Christiansen
Rated 3.25/5 (65%) (4 Votes)
With two split albums under his belt, this is the solo project debut EP of E.M Hearst (Wraith of the Ropes/The Sad Sun), and although it is a four track EP, the CD length runs for 45 minutes – yep you guessed it, it's more doom-filled than Private Fraser from Dads Army.
Abundant with fuzzy, muffled guitar chords kept low in the mix, slamming down like anvils so ultra slowly, you can hardly call it riffing at all. All this is drooled over by fantastically used synths (which are utilised in a very 'Red Harvest' styled way, creating astounding atmospheres), sparse drums and almost inaudible whispered vocals like acid melting steel; it's really a beautiful thing to behold, and really captures your imagination.
Whilst not being ultra depressive or funeral doom, it sets an amazingly melancholic droning tone in its almost mantra-like repetition, and you hardly notice the time flying past with each listen. Highly abstract, ambient and hypnotic visions flood your speakers, oozing out like a stream of smoldering black magma, saturating your mind, body and soul. The title track itself is the only one which has not been previously released (the first three tracks are taken from their first split CD), and it does have a slightly different vibe to it, not to mention different production due to not being recorded in the same sessions as the previous three.
It seems to have a slightly more industrial feel to it in the synth work, with a more varied and audible vocal style (although still being heavily effect-laden and distorted), and more tangible riff structuring throughout the whole track. That said, it's still highly enjoyable, and in keeping with the rest of the EP. In summary it is an intriguing, involving listen, encapsulating music which is perfectly constructed for enjoyment via headphones in those sleepless, early hours of the morning.
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