Severe Torture - Torn From The Jaws Of Death

Remember back in the early 2000s when Netherlands’ Severe Torture burst out on the scene with “Feasting on Blood?” That album was Brutal Death Metal touching on Slam at its most primal and savage and over the years this underrated band just seemed to slowly get better but stay consistent, be it the sick album art or crushing sound. Then in 2010 they disappeared on a bit of hiatus and the Metal world thought they would never hear of them. It was a welcome surprise earlier in 2024 when Season Of Mist announced the band’s re-signing and return with a new album- another ‘comeback’ for the year- and Brutal Death Metal fans felt re-invigorated. The band’s last outing was more Death Metal than Slam oriented with more discernible vocals and a mix of a sound that was Immolation meets Cannibal Corpse, so hopefully almost 14 years later there is a better and better offering from Severe Torture. The lineup is pretty much the same with Patrick Boleij on bass, Thijs van Laarhoven and Marvin Vriesde on guitars, Dennis Schreurs on vocals, and the new addition of Damiën Kerpentier on drums. With a somewhat fresh lineup and so much time, there are high expectations for “Torn From The Jaws Of Death.”

It does not disappoint. Ignore that the album art has been toned down a bit compared their earlier albums, right off the bat with ‘The Death of Everything’ things hit hard and fast but in a rather groove oriented way similar to Blood Red Throne. The solos are highly melodic so Severe Torture sound like they are still sticking to their Brutal Death Metal side with some more accessible touches, but this is far from the chug monotonous fest of the likes of a band like more recent Six Feet Under. The production sounds clearer and upped and the speed dropped a little, so the Immolation influences seem diminished a bit and replaced more by the likes of a band such as Deicide, especially on the vocal front. Deep, guttural but still very understandable, their vocalist has come a long way since his gurgles on their 2000 debut, and it is great to hear he still can deliver. The guitar work is right along with the bass with sharp twists and turns but never haphazard in the likes of Deathspell Omega, and the track just flows smoothly. For those looking for something with less melody and a heavier output but still with those catchy, head banging riffs, ‘Hogtied in Rope’ is an excellent choice with plenty of mid era Suffocation sound to it.

Drumming is loud and thunderous but also metallic and clinky, adding a variety of sound versus those bombastic tones of the likes of the artists who are on labels such as Unique Leader Records. Not to bash the style, but for Severe Torture their more ‘click ting’ hollow drums always suited them more than the more percussive thunder of the likes of a band such as Worm Shepherd. Heralding back to their earlier days, a track like ‘Putrid Remains’ is fast, loud, and with little atmospheric fanfare or bombast. It is a straightforward mosher. At the same time, going back to the old Cannibal Corpse influenced sound also gives way to the pitfall of the tracks kind of blending together, so the middle of the album while fast and fine examples of Brutal Death Metal in general in a mid to fast paced sense versus on overdrive in the way Brodequin likes to crank out their stuff tends to be a little less impressive than the beginning or end of the album, but it still holds together with notable moments like the guitar solos. Bless those melodic solos!

While there is no instrumental present on the album, Severe Torture do present something a little different with the final ‘Tear All the Flesh Off the Earth.’ Scathing, yet building, this almost “Seasons In The Abyss” tinged track is a different approach for the band but it stands as a culmination of what a 10 plus year wait brings, and also ties in some of that slower Immolation style sound before those machine gun fire drums come in and it all just sounds like a cohesive Brutal Death Metal track that cannot disappoint. Bass is a little lost here but the guitars and drums really get their chance to shine; vocals stay consistent throughout the whole album so they are probably the main grab point to enjoy for this album. But the closing guitars on this song really give the album its high notes to keep listeners coming back. While some might be disappointed Severe Torture didn’t go fully back to their roots and cleaned up their sound more, the result in the modern Death Metal world is still ferocious and leaves a mark. A solid Death Metal album with no fat or filler. Right alongside Brodequin in the Season Of Mist family, Severe Torture prove that time doesn’t diminish, and “Torn From The Jaws Of Death” is a roaring comeback for this Netherland’s group that is sure to make it in the possible top 10 for 2024 for many listeners.

5 / 5 STARS

1. The Death Of Everything
2. Marked By Blood And Darkness
3. Hogtied In Rope
4. Torn From The Jaws Of Death
5. Christ Immersion
6. Putrid Remains
7. The Pinnacle Of Suffering
8. Through Pain And Emptiness
9. Those Who Wished Me Dead
10. Tear All The Flesh Off The Earth