Torrefy hails from Canada’s West coast, and in 2014, they put out their debut full-length record “Thrash and Burn”. This is an album title you should not take at face value. While there is plenty of thrashing here, Torrefy isn’t focused on emulating Exodus with no original thought. Instead, their album provides a diverse range of influences. In fact, “Thrash and Burn” is almost too diverse for its own good. While every song has great moments, sometimes it would be best if the band focused on one sound that they do well, rather than trying to cover a broader base of music. One example of this is the track “Direwolf”. Several parts in the song are driven by a galloping pace, with deep, epic USPM-style vocals (or even similar to something like Falconer). This is in direct contrast to the majority of the record, which has incredibly brutal death/black-like growling. These two vocal styles converge later in the track, and while I can’t say I’ve heard anything quite like this before, you can’t help but feel like the record would be a bit more cohesive if the band stuck with their more aggressive sound.
As mentioned above, this release is still, at its core, a thrash album. The best comparison would be to Skeletonwitch, as there are plenty of hard-hitting riffs, and the thrashyness of the riffs is enhanced by the visceral production. In general, I’m actually not a big fan of the production here, primarily because it doesn’t really sound either old-school or modern. Instead, it feels more like a plug-in and play sound, which is definitely authentic, but not quite as striking as if the band had gone for something a bit tighter. Still, the guitars sound pretty ripping at times.
As alluded to above, Torrefy definitely isn’t afraid to go outside the realm of thrash. The instrumental track “Incineratorr” is an excellent example of this where the band throws in both the occasional bluesy lick and the freezing cold black metal tremolo-picked riff. Towards the end of the song, Torrefy’s lead axeman shows off his more melodic side with an incredible solo that at times reminds one of Judas Priest. “Thrashcan” is another song where he shows an ability to really construct an entrancing solo.
Ultimately, “Thrash and Burn” displays a lot of potential. Torrefy knows their way around a variety of sounds. With a stronger production and more focused songwriting, Torrefy’s next release will surely impress. For now, this album is well-worth checking out simply for “Direwolf” alone, but also because it isn’t something you’ve heard many times before.
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3.5/5 or 70%.
Written by Scott