Hailing from the decrepit underground of Portland comes the brutal death metal band Torture Rack. This is their debut album, Barbaric Persecution which came out back in 2015. This is death metal at its finest. No playing around, just pure auditory assault with plenty of gore and violence to spread with this album. Bordering on blackened death metal, these guys take a page from the old death metal textbook with clear influence from Barnes era Cannibal Corpse, Autopsy, and that classic B-movie horror aesthetic from Mortician, with of course the band’s own personal touch on it.
As stated before there’s little playing around with this album. Chunky, and brutal guitar riffs, heavy hitting drums, guttural and monstrous vocals and a bass that’ll rattle your dungeon walls, they simply nail that old school death metal sound. These guys certainly aren’t on the melodic side of things either, keeping it rather primitive and, for lack of a better word, barbaric, in their song writing. Simplistic riffs that get the job done and of course blast beats for days, they leave little room to breath in the production. The guitars are incredibly tight, and with the constant drumming, there’s almost this sense of claustrophobia that is created that makes you a little bit anxious as you listen only letting you rest just briefly in between tracks. Personally, I find the heaviness of the album to be incredibly pleasing, this is how proper death metal should be made, with only few slower moments like towards the end of the album, when it begins to break down with some chunky guitar riffs. There are also a few thrash like moments towards the latter half of the album as well, but its just pure and utter brutality with this.
To me, this is the best way to make a death metal album, and not often do I come across this kinda sound especially in this modern age. Modern death metal simply lacks a lot of the authenticity and ruggedness in the sound that started it back in the day. Torture Rack, however, are truly able to harbor that old sound and recreate it in the modern day with out just copy-pasting what they heard from bands of old. They truly are able to create a unique yet familiar sound that once you hear it is undeniably ‘Torture Rack‘. There are plenty of moments in time when I come across a death metal album and be impressed by how regressive the genre as a whole has become. But within the underground, thankfully you run into bands like these that keep it alive.
Any fan of death metal, be it brutal, blackened, or melodic will find things to like with this hard hitting album. Its been one of my favorite death metal releases as of late, and wish this band would put out more as their sound is simply addicting. Luckily, I was able to get my hands on this record from my local record shop. Its always fun discovering a band’s first release was primarily a physical release with few connections online. Their second album is a perfect continuation and a showcase of what they have to offer as well, so be sure to give that a listen along side this release. Very much worth the hassle.