|Review: Torture Squad - Hellbound|
Label: Wacken Records
Year released: 2008
Review online: June 16, 2010
Reviewed by: PowerMetal59
Rated 4/5 (80%) (7 Votes)
Not having had any much exposure with the long time Death virtuosos from Brazil other than hearing a couple of tracks off their previous release Pandemonium, I approached the band's latest full-length having heard that this was viewed as their breakthrough album. I must say that I was immediately floored by the power and majesty of Hellbound. The album starts off with a two minute instrumental intro, but then the fun starts with "Living For The Kill" striking the listener like a Louisville slugger upside the skull with a catchy as hell opening riff, thundering drums and the brutal scream of front man Vitor Rodrigues.
Throughout the entire album the earth-shattering riffs take center stage, in fact I must say after the first few listens it was exclusively the riffs that kept me coming back for more. However, subsequent listens unveiled that this is much more than an in-your-face slugfest of brutality. These guys are talented musicians with a penchant for mixing complex, frequently changing yet catchy song structures. Vitor Rodrigues maintains a discernable but brutal Death Metal snarl throughout, while the guitars as previously alluded to are so damn awesome that it can easily lead you to overlook the drumming which keeps up with the furious, but often times changing pace quite well. The only complaint I can muster are the inclusion of the forgettable acoustic instrumental tracks, namely the intro and "The Four Winds", which normally wouldn't be much of a problem, but the issues I have with them are that they are too long and in the case of "The Four Winds" it needlessly breaks up the album's momentum to the point of being a distraction.
All in all though, if you are not familiar with Torture Squad I cannot think of a better place to start, highly recommended for fans of the Thrash/Death style. A great Brazilian band that has flown mostly under the radar throughout their career but certainly deserve a higher level of recognition from the metal community. I for one will certainly be checking out their back catalog, perhaps unearthing some more hidden gems.
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