Severe Torture - _Butchery of the Soul_
(Hammerheart, 2002)
by: Adam Lineker (5.5 out of 10)
Stop-gap releases usually seem to be half-hearted affairs. This release by Severe Torture features a re-mastered track from their debut _Feasting on Blood_, a video clip of that same track (which, predictably, will not work on my computer), four other songs taken from past EPs and a cover of Cannibal Corpse's "Perverse Suffering". By these credentials alone, it is worth speculating that an already devoted fan would have to be obsessive to spend cash on this, as it features no new material. As it is a collection of songs rather than even a rework, it is understandable that the mix varies. Whereas the re-mastered song and title track "Butchery of the Soul" sound crisp and well mixed, the songs taken from the _Pray for Nothing_ EP have a distinctive cloud of fuzz and badly cut-out endings. Those taken from _Lambs of a God_ sound a little better, and thankfully a little heavier. It must be pointed out that the _Pray for Nothing_ songs seem a touch more aggressively performed. Rather than taking charge of or rising above the mix, the instruments collectively form an overall sound. No one instrument strikes upon the psyche of the listener more than another, excluding the odd peak from the bass, and the drumming on the _Pray for Nothing_ tracks. This would be no great thing if the overall mix was breathtaking, but what we have instead is the feeling that everything is taking a back seat. It's clean and accessible but seems somewhat lacklustre. Some of the riffage seems a little unimaginative and has a tendency to become repetitive. It's all solid enough metal; _Pray for Nothing_ itself stands out more performance-wise. Still, it never comes close to drawing you in. It's telling when the best song on the album is the Cannibal Corpse cover. As an introduction to Severe Torture, _Butchery of the Soul_ serves some sort of purpose but comes across as more similar to a demo than anything else.

(article published 1/9/2002)

11/29/2010 A El Naby 7 Severe Torture - Slaughtered
3/26/2003 A Lineker 6 Severe Torture - Misanthropic Carnage
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