CD REVIEW Tortorum

Band: Tortorum
Title: Extinctionist
Label: W.T.C. Productions
Distribution: Infektion
Release date: 20/04/2012
Review: CD

Tortorum are a trans-European project, with permanent and session members from the U.K., Norway and Poland. The project was originally formed in 2010 by Polish (origins) / Norwegian (residing) guitar player Skyggen (think Veles, Swastyka, Dead To This World, Gorgoroth, Aeternus), and soon after he was joined by Englishman Barghest (b, v), known from e.g. Spearhead, Archaicus or Yersinia Pestis.

Together with session drummer Erik, who did work with e.g. Aeternus and Gorgoroth, the duo did record their debut Extinctionist as from May 2011 on in the Bergen, Norway-based Conclave Studio.
And even though both main members aren’t originally from Norway, this album truly exhales the Old Style spirit from the Norwegian scene era early SWoBM (Second Wave of Black Metal), which was just ‘huge’ in Norway especially, even though the Swedish and Finnish (and somewhat the Polish) scenes are slightly present as well.

Extinctionist stands for a perfected copy of the earliest nineties, but this also implements a total lack of originality. The song structures, the vocal lines, the lyrics, the performance, the production / sound, even the artwork, this is a purest result of the Scandinavian grandeur. But a Black Metal purist does not care about this, because it’s the whole package that counts. And in Tortorum’s case the package is just superb in its most evil sense – something a misanthrope cannot but appreciate, not?! As a matter of fact, Extinctionist combines elements from bands and projects like Gorgoroth, Taake, Immortal, Enslaved, Hades (pre-Hades Almighty) and the likes (some riffs also remind me to Burzum, Mayhem or Darkthrone, for example; and when it comes to the Swedish and Finnish scene, mind acts like, respectively, Allegiance and Naglfar, or Vultyr and Annihilatus), yet the album certainly is not a rip-off edition of this glorious past. The emphasis is fast-paced, yet Tortorum append their hymns with a couple of slow-downed decelerations, which is just fine for creating a subtle balance in between pure aggression and hidden evilness. The riffs come with that haunting melodic approach, the rhythm is barbarian and mean, the vocals rather venomous, and in combination with the grim, rough and cold sound, the result is: timeless Nordic Glory.

Just to pick some nits, eh, I mean, just some nit-picking: next time some more of an own identity, please.


Ivan Tibos.