Obligatorisk Tortyr - _Obligatorisk Tortyr_
(Osmose, 2001)
by: Paul Schwarz (6.5 out of 10)
"Obligatory Torture": that's the translation of this Swedish three-piece's name. That name suggests that Obligatorisk Tortyr's grindcore should sound a lot more American than it actually does. Obligatorisk Tortyr may principally be a grindcore band, but they don't allow this to limit them to blastbeats, three-chord riffs and lung-destroying screeches. The varied cocktail that this, their debut album, thus presents you with has its good and bad points. On the positive side, _OT_ is varied enough to not lapse into monotony with the shocking rapidity of many a second-rate grindcore album; OT don't merely attempt to repeat the same song 25 different ways -- or even the same two songs 12 different ways. On the negative side, OT lack impact: their variation of tempo means they never build-up pure intensity through speed like Discordance Axis, Nasum or Hellnation, while their lack of songwriting talent means that, though they vary their tempo, they don't create the dynamic contrasts that embellish so many great grind (or grind-leaning) releases -- His Hero Is Gone's _Monuments to Thieves_ is just one album where such contrasts are frequently and brilliantly used. OT also seem to lack a coherent -- or endearing? -- identity of their own. _OT_ combines a range of elements unusual for run-of-the-mill grindcore or death metal, but rarely offers a single song that is interesting and enjoyable enough to listen to all the way through. Ultimately, _OT_ is more often monotonous than invigorating.

(article published 12/8/2001)

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