Torture Chain – Time is but a Doorway to the Incinerator
Release: Demo, Q1 2012 (Eternal Summer)
Genre: Black Metal
Sonic Brethren: False, Thantifaxath, Woe
Opening with a string composition reminiscent of an ethereal John Williams, this single-song demo quickly descends into frantic blackened chaos. The strength of Time is But a Doorway to the Incinerator lies in its ability to both showcase and distort the best that the genre has to offer. Guitars combine traditional tremolo riffs with interesting melodies and host more than one beautifully bleak acoustic bridge between the blackness. Drums surge, riffs change as soon as you think you’ve grasped them and rich, layered vocals dance the line between blackened rasps and deathly growls. Out of nowhere, dissonant solos distract for mere seconds before dissipating into the void, ensuring the listener is constantly on his toes. Meanwhile, the aforementioned ghost orchestra hides low in the mix, hardly noticeable but adding a rich, mournful shadow to the ripping guitars.
The production is raw yet crisp enough to hear each instrument distinctly; the track has none of the tinny noise found in similar music that so often leave the listener hungry for something more. Many songs that exceed the 10-minute mark can easily grow repetitive and boring or rely on drawn-out intros or crushingly slow build-ups to attain the desired length. This 24-minute epic somehow doesn’t seem long enough. It’s so captivating, energetic and downright interesting that a full release would be nothing less than a gift from the gods below.
Mystery enshrouds Torture Chain. There is as little clear information about the band as is possible in this day and age. Not even the band’s location is given on their Metal Archives page, which claims the group is a single person. This contradicts their label’s copy which refers to the band as a “horde.” Everything they have ever released — which has so far been on cassette only — has sold out. This demo was released by some entity called Eternal Summer, which has no other releases in their catalog. While this may not be available physically, the label hosts a download link and encourages fans to check out a free digital copy. As the band has only released demos in the past four years, it’s very unlikely they will be reveal more about themselves, let alone put out a proper full-length, anytime soon. Let’s just hope this mini-masterpiece can draw them out of the grim depths and into the grey, distorted spotlight where they belong.
Final Thoughts: Everything that USBM should be and more. Download this immediately, and hope to hell it gets released again (or on vinyl).