18 Sep 2023 - Simon
Doom Metal | Post Metal | Human Worth | Release date: 15 Sep 2023
Torpor return with a new album which is a true force of nature!
What does an elephant, Neptunium, the gravity on Jupiter and the band Torpor have in common? That’s correct, they are all stupendously heavy. The trio based in Bristol and North Wales have returned with their latest album Abscission. Following on from fantastic previous album Rhetoric of the Image (which you should definitely listen to, by the way) this marks the first new music from the band in four years. And it was very much worth the wait. Torpor have always been a band that thrives on pushing the boundaries of heavy music, and Abscission is a testament to their unrelenting quest to marry sonic brutality with thoughtful delicacy.
The album opens with “Interior Gestures”, a track that immediately plunges the listener into the depths of despair. The crushing riffs and thunderous percussion create an oppressive atmosphere, as if one is sinking into quicksand, unable to escape. Torpor’s ability to build tension is nothing short of masterful, and this song is a prime example of their prowess in this regard. The haunting vocals, delivered in guttural, anguished roars, add an extra layer of torment to the composition.
As the album progresses, they continue to weave a nightmarish tapestry of sound. “As Shadows Follows Body” is a sprawling epic that gives bands such as LLNN a run for their money. It’s a sonic odyssey that explores the very boundaries of what Doom Metal can be. The hypnotic repetition of the riffs creates a trance-like state, while the occasional bursts of dissonance shatter any semblance of comfort. It’s a mesmerizing and unsettling experience that demands the listener’s full attention. This is unrelentingly heavy, and yet slivers of hope like crepuscular rays shine through with bewildering clarity.
“Accidie” brings a more experimental edge to the album, with its oppressive droning atmospherics and intricate repetitive guitar work. Torpor prove that they are not content to rest on the laurels of traditional Doom; they are constantly pushing the envelope and exploring new sonic territories. It’s stunningly heavy but also, extremely meditative.
The album’s title track, “Island of Abandonment” is a monumental closer that encapsulates everything Torpor stands for. Clocking in at just shy of eleven minutes, it’s an epic journey that traverses peaks and valleys of sonic intensity. The crushing heaviness is juxtaposed with moments of delicate beauty, creating a sense of catharsis that is both overwhelming and transcendent.
Abscission is not an album for the faint of heart and most definitely isn’t for everyone. It’s a challenging and intense listen that demands repeated spins to fully grasp its depth and complexity. Torpor has crafted a work of art that transcends the boundaries of Doom Metal, a sonic descent into the abyss that will leave you haunted long after the final notes have faded into the void.
In a musical landscape where conformity often reigns supreme, Torpor’s Abscission is a defiant declaration of artistic integrity. It’s an album that refuses to compromise, a sonic journey that will test your limits and reward your perseverance. If you’re willing to embrace the darkness, this record is a journey you won’t soon forget. Torpor have once again proven themselves to be torch-bearers of the underground and the band’s refusal to listen to anything other than their own principles and inner voices is a rare thing which should be applauded.