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Those Who Bring The Torture - "Piling Up" (CD)

Those Who Bring The Torture - "Piling Up" CD cover image

"Piling Up" track listing:

1. Under Twin Suns
2. Through the Aeons
3. The Gateway
4. Piling Up
5. In Orbit
6. Lifesucker
7. Incomprehensible
8. Towering Structures of the Damned
9. A Dead Cold Space
10. Turrets of a Forgotten Castle

Reviewed by on September 11, 2014

"TWBTT won’t win an award for most original band, but the music is interesting and memorable."

“Piling Up” is the title of the fourth album by Those Who Bring The Torture (TWBTT). Judging by the artwork and brutal sound, bodies are definitely piling up. Based on the number of bands Roger “Rogga” Johansson lends his name to, it could also signify albums piling up. In addition to TWBTT, Johansson appears on a long list of bands that includes Paganizer, Ribspreader, Putrevore, Revolting, Down Among The Dead Men, Megascavenger, and Bone Gnawer.

TWBTT released its self-titled debut the year of its formation in 2007 and has steadily released an album every other year. It’s safe to say Johansson is never at a loss for ideas. Not only is Rogga a one-man death metal factory, in TWBTT he writes the guitar riffs, including bass, creates the lyrics, and screams/growls his tales of terror. His mate from Paganizer, Dennis Blomberg plays the leads and additional bass. No one is credited with playing drums (I believe the band uses a machine).

Although released via a Polish label, Selfmadegod Records, “Piling Up” is pure Swedish death metal. Melodies are interspersed throughout the album, often providing a break from relentless speed and grinding force. While the drums can be overbearing in places and have that digital sound that comes with a machine, the sheer speed of the beats can’t be denied.

Reference bands are abundant: Hypocrisy and Amon Amarth were the first two names that came to mind when I heard the album. Check out the initial, sustained notes that initiate the album on “Under Twin Suns.” The band follows this up with a straightforward barrage of grindcore on the following track “Through the Aeons.” Fans of Carcass and Napalm Death will nod their heads up and down in agreement with this tune. The lower range riffing on “Incomprehensible” has a Bolt Thrower feel to it. “In Orbit” also contains the same type of memorable guitar play as Unleashed.

The extra terrestrial scene gracing the artwork was completed by Roberto Toderico. One of the bands he’s known for working with is Sinister. If it weren't for this fact, I probably wouldn’t have seen the comparison to Sinister on “Towering Structures of the Damned.” The title track is set forth by face smashing brutality that bring to mind Cannibal Corpse’s all-time classic “Hammer Smashed Face.” The band even produces a thrashy note, here and there, as seen on closer “Turrets of a Forgotten Castle.”

TWBTT won’t win an award for most original band, but the music is interesting and memorable. The guitar tones are deep and distorted, but like Rogga’s vocals, not to the point of detriment. Every note is understandable, and most of his words can be made out, although at times he does pull in his voice to the point of incomprehensibility, which some readers may find great satisfaction in. I would have preferred the acoustics of a real drum kit, but the machine keeps a frenzied pace. “Piling Up” isn’t a breakthrough album by any means, but it is good enough to purchase if you favor any of the above-mentioned bands.

Highs: "Piling Up" is a good mix of grinding speed and epic melodies.

Lows: The drums can be overbearing in places and have that digital sound that comes with a machine.

Bottom line: Nothing mind-blowing, but worth checking out if you're into Swedish death metal.

Rated 3 out of 5 skulls
3 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)