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Aural Pleasure Review

Torche: 'Harmonicraft'

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Torche's newest brings their mastery of incredibly catchy, poppy, heavy rock into new realms of melody and tight songwriting. In a perfect world, this is the kind of stuff that would be in heavy rotation on rock radio. The songs are concise and infectious, and most don't pass the four-minute mark. Tracks like the opener "Letting Go" soar with Steve Brooks' epic vocals, while standout "Skin Moth" keeps the listeners on their toes with a dash of math in a killer sequence of chord progressions that lay a groove down that could possibly tilt the world off its axis. The full-frontal wall of sound the band is known for is here in full force, but old-school fans might notice a lack of crushingly heavy, neck-injuring drop-Z breakdowns. Instead, the ultra-heaviness is supplanted by pop sensibilities, which is successful in many regards. It's a happy heavy. In fact, the record only takes a turn for the darker side on the last two songs — the title track, which broods fantastically, and closer "Looking On," which ends up feeling a bit too simple for its own good. Harmonicraft, while not as heavy as its predecessors, is a whole hell of a lot of fun.

★★★★ (out of 5 stars)

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