Severe Torture - _Slaughtered_
(Season of Mist, 2010)
by: Aly Hassab El Naby (7 out of 10)
If we trace death metal back to its origins, and by origins I mean the late '80s, we wouldn't find the level of complexity we encounter on a daily basis on a Necrophagist or a Psycroptic record. These bands, and many others from all around the globe, are pushing the limits of technicality in their death metal, which continues to raise the bar of 'being impressive'. Of course myriad bands cave under the pressure of wanting to sound more complex and technical than the one that's jamming right after them in the same room, but some others don't afford this any attention. Take the Dutch group Severe Torture as an example. Their death metal sticks to the original design of death metal like there's no tomorrow. The vocals are immensely guttural and deep, the guitars are heavy and razor-sharp and the drums blast away like machine guns hoping to achieve a new high-score in a mass murder simulation.

Severe Torture's sixth studio album _Slaughtered_ does not deter from the previously explained philosophy one iota. The solo on the first punch "Grave Condition" is quite skillfully executed, as it has its own delay panned on the other side of the speakers. It is then followed by a significantly slower segment that could be reminiscent of Nile's epic track "Ruins". "Defective Fornication" and the title track "Slaughtered" are two examples of superb lead guitar work. They don't boast the most outstanding combination of riffs on the album, but their objectives are appropriately met: to slap the listener with their thick brutality and get their heads banging until the lead guitar comes in and finish the job in formidable fashion.

Non-distorted, albeit massively down-tuned guitars make a rather humble and brief appearance on "Inferior Divinity", but the rest of the track doesn't deteriorate from the trilling-blasting-growling norm. The most memorable set of riffs however are on "Feeding on Cadavers". It's a forceful and sharply dynamic track that also includes some brilliant lead guitar lines. In keeping with the theme of praising the two fret-board masters Thijis van Laarhoven and Marvin Vriesde, I have to emphasize the crafty combination of guitar licks and melodic chords they've used to end "Swallowing Decay" and consequently the whole album.

Digging up the earlier efforts of Severe Torture doesn't put you in the path of any surprises. Their formula of brutality is simple yet effective, and they have become more than capable of executing it efficiently. Consistency is obviously what this band is about, and that's a vision to respect. Because if everyone started to 'revolutionize' death metal with every album, in a few years we would only have the memories of Morbid Angel and Immolation to remind us how this stream of molten metal sounded like in its halcyon days. In _Slaughtered_, Severe Torture has presented another solid rendition of what the proverbial flesh and bones of death ought to sound like.


(article published 29/11/2010)

3/26/2003 A Lineker 6 Severe Torture - Misanthropic Carnage
9/1/2002 A Lineker 5.5 Severe Torture - Butchery of the Soul
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