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Review: Torture - Storm Alert
Storm Alert

Label: Escapi
Year released: 2006
Duration: 64:40
Tracks: 11
Genre: Thrash Metal


Review online: March 4, 2006
Reviewed by: Sargon the Terrible
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Rated 4.25/5 (85%) (20 Votes)

Torture were a great unsung Thrash band from Texas who put out the fun little EP "Terror Kingdom" in 1987, and then the follow-up "Storm Alert" in '89. Just about then the Thrash tide went out and that was about it for Torture. Well, here we are 17 years later and two of the original members have recruited a new band and have re-released their underrated full-length. Does it kick your ass? Oh yeah.

This is the complete 8-song album with three tracks added: the tedious "Intro" off "Terror Kingdom", the very cool "Dwell Into Surreality", and the instrumental "Whips Pt. 2", which is obviously a continuation of the original "Whips", which is just a reworked "Whips Of The Antichrist" off their EP. The title track from "Terror Kingdom" also makes an appearance, which is all good. The coolest thing about this is that they got the whole thing remastered by studio wizard Neil Kernon, and it sounds heavy as FUCK. Having heard the original EP recently, I can imagine what this must have sounded like originally, and the remaster job is awesome, giving up nothing to far more modern recordings. The menu here is pure, unadulterated 200-proof Thrash that never stops kicking your ass. Even when the lyrics are somewhat silly, as on "Dwell Into Surreality" or the very goofy "Slay Ride", the pure steel riffage will keep you flailing along. The blazing "Ignominious Slaughter", the eight-minute epic of "Terror Kingdom", the furious title track – it all just owns. Guitarist Tom Hicks handles the vocal duties, with a rough and ready voice that is something you don't hear much anymore – neither clean nor 'extreme', these are 'Thrash' vocals in the purest sense, and much more effective than if he were screaming or rasping or puking on the mike.

This is a real gem from the old days. Torture were a bunch of punk kids when they bashed this out, but they were more varied and epic than most Thrash bands bothered being, and there is a lot of impressive musicianship and songwriting on this disc. Torture have re-formed for live shows, and while it remains to be seen if they will record again (or if they could match their old material if they did) this is a reissue that is more than worth checking out. A lot of old albums get reissued just because, but "Storm Alert" didn't get the props it deserved when it was released, and it's time that oversight was corrected. "Storm Alert" is still underground gold after 17 years.

Additional Information

Originally released in 1989

More about Torture...
Review: Terror Kingdom (reviewed by Sargon the Terrible)
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