Torchbearer "s/t"

My apologies to New Jersey's Torchbearer for accidentally sitting on their debut EP/demo for far too long. I believe these seven songs mark the band's first recordings, and that's not half bad considering the significant 90's sounding influences swirling around amidst their brand of thick, surging post-hardcore/noise rock. On MySpace they cite their influences as Deadguy, Coalesce, Kiss it Goodbye, 108, Unbroken, Undertow, Botch, and Pink Floyd, and while I probably wouldn't have cited any of those bands as comparisons myself, that list does make sense when you think about the manner in which they're fusing together different angles and influences herein. In addition to the core of textbook rhythmic post-hardcore with gruffly shouted vocals resting deep in the mix are some heavier and more pounding rhythms that slow the pace a bit, as well as quite a few uses of strange (though not excessive) effects to create a certain sense of droning sustain or added atmosphere. The end result feels a little thicker, darker, and more aggressive than typical post-hardcore; though less grating and more tangible than the noisier and more chaotic side of the band's influences - while remaining very firmly rooted in a sound that will still be enjoyably familiar to anyone that's been a general fan of this style of music since the early- to mid-90's (and then some).

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