Torture Throne: Stench of Innocence

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Torture Throne: Stench of Innocence
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Torture Throne: Stench of Innocence
Death Metal
Obscure Domain Productions
January 12th, 2014
Release length: 22:39
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Torture Throne is a four-piece French Death Metal band with plenty of Doom Metal undertones that formed in 2009. While they have been together for about five years at this point, there has been very little in the line of official recordings. This is especially surprising given no one is really credited as being involved with any other groups except for former bassist Guillaume, known for having worked with Tales of Blood and Falkirk. 2010 saw the band releasing their debut EP Thy Serpent’s Cult themselves, only to be met with four years of silence as far as studio time goes. It’s not until 2014 that we received the follow-up release, Stench of Innocence, which has been made available as a twelve-inch vinyl through Obscure Domain Productions. But was it worth waiting a good four years to finally have, or is this six song EP actually a disappointment?

For the most part, Stench of Innocence comes across as your standard Immolation or Incantation-grade dose of soul crushing brutality. The rawer touch crossed with dismal, foreboding riffs that are prone to random fits of hostility the deeper in you get. “Sempiternal Spear of Salvation” immediately pounds away, using the rich distortions to its advantage within the fairly technical chords and sudden shifts to death marches and slams that can get your head banging along obediently. The guitar solo does end up a bit thin, but the slam that concludes the performance more than makes up for it. “For All Those Who Worship” has a blistering start that appears once in a while, but its more a tease for the creeping death that makes up the rest. A composition that dwells in both misery and chaos, this one holds nothing back, pounding your body into dust, making you immediately want to go back for another spin through.

But while the ending to Stench of Innocence is insanely addicting, things do start off rocky, almost deterring you early on. “Messiah” welcomes you with ominous echoing hammering that first comes across like church bells, quickly taking on a nightmarish tone that sounds as though you have descended to hell itself. This would have been a fantastic start, but the addition of layered gutturals actually take away the impact of the ambience being woven before fading and allowing “Arma Christi (Three Sadistic Abominations)” to kick in. It’s fairly slow overall, but there are some enthusiastic outbursts that feel more like there’s some tacked on Swedish Death Metal influence with how bad it seems to fit in, thus hurting the slower passages.

While this EP starts and ends on opposite sides of the spectrum, there is a nice middle ground available. Aside the bone crunching slam about half way through, “Morbid Wrath” manages to utilize the speed a lot better. The main verses carry some Goregrind that works with the vile growling throughout the album, not to mention the heavy amount of distortion that already gives the EP a dirty, almost vile atmosphere. The same can be said for “Stench of Innocence”, taking on more of an aggressive Dismember approach at times that gives way to a trudging Doom Metal groove near the end of the song.

Stench of Innocence isn’t the most awe-inspiring of doom inspired Death Metal recordings, but this doesn’t mean there’s nothing of value either. The final two cuts of this recording are phenomenal examples of this approach to the genre, not to mention of the group’s compositional skills. But when they delve into quicker territory here, it doesn’t really work out too well unless exploring the depths of Goregrind. If you happen to get the chance to check out Stench of Innocence, you won’t regret giving Torture Throne‘s new recording the time of day.


01. Messiah – 1:47
02. Arma Christi (Three Sadistic Abominations) – 4:01
03. Morbid Wrath – 3:40
04. Stench of Innocence – 5:28
05. Sempiternal Spear of Salvation – 3:48
06. For All Those Who Worship – 3:55
Initial Pressing Score: 6.5/10

Torture Throne
Torture Throne

Digital review copy of this release provided by Obscure Domain Records.