Over humanity’s run as a dominant force here on Earth, we’ve continually found new and disgusting ways to destroy each other, especially when it comes to capital punishment. Or just our interrogation tactics. There are plenty of them we can look back on that no longer are in use (um, at least not right now), and it’s wild some of the ways we dealt agony and punishment to fellow humans.
Portland death metal destroyers Torture Rack take their name from a particularly heinous device used centuries ago (again, not totally counting out some asshole will revive this thing), and their music has a violent force that stretches and bludgeons until the point of submission. On the band’s gnarly third record “Primeval Onslaught,” their first in five years, they use 10 smothering, unforgiving tracks to leave welts and bruising to go along with the psychological torment. This menacing force—bassist/vocalist JG, guitarists Pierce and Tony, drummer Seth—that also weaves chaos in bands including Witch Vomit, Cemetery Lust, and Dagger Lust, turn up the heat and pushes your physical boundaries to the limit, leaving only screaming and begging as a means to cut off the pain.
“Ceremonial Flesh Feast” just opens bowels right away, no fucking around, as growls crush and guitars trudge, hacking off slabs of meat. Leads go off and scorch, sinking into bone, and then the final gusts rip into “Decrepit Funeral Home,” one of my favorite song titles of the year. The track bludgeons and smashes skulls, the pace engulfing with flames, blinding and stomping. Echoes tingle as the deadly force rampages, blasting out into a hellish furnace. “Forced From the Pit” savages with splattering playing and growls spat with violence, the speed igniting and ramming full force into a brick wall. Drums destroy as the pace thrashes, guitars going for the throat, the force melting faces. “Morning Star Massacre” is 50 seconds of maniacal energy, crunching and bruising, wasting everything in front of it with nuclear force. “Victims of Inquisitors” opens with drums boiling and mashing playing bruising your insides, the guitar work absolutely going off. The force blows back heat, twisting flesh and crushing wills.
“Bone Snare” punches in and just mauls, the growls lacing, and the forces act like a battering ram. The playing is thick and crushing, a muscular force that defaces with malice. “Fucked By Death” runs a slim, trim 1:16, and it wastes no time, drums speeding along, the bass thickening and trampling, and the guitar work scorching as it goes off the rails. “Impalement Storm” dawns with vocals vomited out, the playing going a mile a second, the guitars carving tributaries into bodies. The path is vicious and scraping, the sludging picks up steam and mass, and the slash and burn continues until it succumbs to its own smoke cloud. “Descent Into Infernal Chasms” mangles as the growls waste you, and the drums destroys lives. The mashing decimates sense as the vicious dust-up buries energy in the dirt. Closer “Rotting Insignificance” immediately crushes and strangles brain impulses, delivering massive pressure that continues to build its presence. Wounds are continually opened and left to fester as the clubbing force keeps swinging haymakers, leaving eyes blackened and swollen.
“Primeval Onslaught” is death metal at its most primitive, raw form, which Torture Rack continue to do at a violent clip that’s almost threatening. This is grim but also fun, a blast to hear as these heathens do their best to make this experience as uncomfortable and rotting as it is pleasingly devastating. This is music with nothing but the worst in mind, not afraid to assault you and drag you into the woods, begging for your miserable life.
For more on the band, go here: https://torturerack.bandcamp.com/album/barbaric-persecution
To buy the album, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/torturerack
For more on the label, go here: https://www.20buckspin.com/