Severe Torture - Fall of Despised - 2005 - Earache
1. Endless Strain of Cadavers 2. Sawn Off 3. Unconditional Annihilation 4. Consuming the Dying 5. Impulsive Mutilation 6. Dead From the Waste Up 7. Decree of Darkness 8. Enshrined in Madness 9. End of Christ 10. Fall of the Despised
Severe Torture, as their name and song titles would imply, are part of the insatiable horde still waving the tattered, bloody banner of Florida-styled Death Metal. It would not at all be surprisingly to learn that that group started out as a Cannibal Corpse cover band, so closely are the two related in songwriting, production, and image. But, obvious influences aside, Severe Torture are still a durable and well-constructed outfit.
Based out of the Netherlands, Severe Torture are nearly 10 years into their career, ‘Fall of the Despised’ being their third full length album. If there have been any significant changes since their 2000 debut, the foremost is production. ‘Fall of the Despised’ resonates deeply on all fronts; guitars, bass, skins, and vocals are all prominently featured, when appropriate, making for a well balanced and highly listenable experience evenly spread out over 10 tracks and 40 minutes.
Building upon this balanced foundation, Severe Torture have also varied their tempos more so than on previous recordings, now emphasizing slower groove rather than unbridled speed. This allows for some fairly interesting interplay between the lead and rhythm sections, instead of the standard harmonizing most employ in an effort to shake loose a few more of one’s teeth.
Severe Torture also shares a guitarist with the now famous Dew-Scented, Marvin Vriesde, whose thrash experience shakes up the standard formula, though the band’s riffs tend to be more lumbering than tremolo. In fact, the slower tracks here (or at least, those with slower sections), most notably ‘Consuming the Dying’ and ‘Impulsive Mutilation’ (which would almost fit on a Gojira record), are those that stand out the most, showing off both the production and the band’s effective and technical compatibility.
However, ‘Fall of the Despised’ treads rather familiar territory throughout, and song differentiation is not their strong suit, as is the tendency for the genre. The songs ‘Sawn Off’, ‘End of Christ’, and ‘Dead From The Waist Up’, for example, all begin with essentially identical drumbeats and riff cadences.
Regardless, fans of the New York and Florida schools of death metal will likely enjoy this, as well as a handful of less blood-spattered metalheads who will be drawn to ‘Fall of the Despised’s tasteful, albeit rare, soloing and occasional grooves.
Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details