Torche - Restarter
Critic Score
Based on 16 reviews
2015 Ratings: #275 / 915
User Score
Based on 29 ratings
February 24, 2015 / Release Date
LP / Format
Relapse / Label
Stoner Metal, Metal / Genres
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Alternative Press

It’s a tight little package of anthemic hook and heft that moves with even more purpose than 2012’s Harmonicraft.


Restarter is remarkably composed and perfectly balanced, demonstrating Torche's ability to continually refine their doom-pop/melodic hard rock approach.

What is important however, is the quality of these songs, and Torche have once again delivered an album of phenomenal quality.
It feels like a Big Rock Album, the kind that we barely get from any band these days, no matter what part of the mainstream or underground they hail from.
A veritable highlight reel of their past three offerings, the ten-track set is a convivial, drop-tuned juggernaut of major chord malevolence that distills sludge, doom, pop, punk, and stoner metal into a fist bump that breaks fingers.

After seeming so eager to capitalize on their pop underpinnings in recent years, Torche arrive on Restarter, their Relapse debut, as harsh, heavy and mean as they have been in nearly a decade.

Consequence of Sound
What it lacks in immediacy it makes up for in lasting appeal. It also establishes Torche as one of the most consistent, openhearted acts in metal.

Restarter, for all its excellence, is still overcast by the monolithic shadow of Harmonicraft.

The Line of Best Fit
As single releases each track works but bring them together and you'll realise the casualty here is the album itself.
Under The Radar

Torche goes deeper on Restarter, but they also round off some of the weird edges that make them such an interesting band.

Their newest full-length isn’t by any means leaps and bounds from what they’ve done before, but when they’ve got their brand of metallic pop so well-honed, why would we hope for anything else?
No Ripcord
Yes, Torche have maintained their stance on hooks and riffs over more complex elements, but the riffs, on the whole, are much slower and more labored, which is adequate by stoner/sludge metal standards, but it leaves their new material sounding too close to many of their peers.
Drowned in Sound

Whether Torche should have stuck their ground and faced accusations of standing still, or whether they should have ploughed forward and risked alienating their hard-earned, and still growing, fanbase, is up to you, but it’s clear that something doesn’t quite gel on Restarter.

Sure, it gets kinda repetitive, but Torche's brand of melodic sludge metal is nothing if not fist-pumpingly, chest-beatingly, larynx-shreddingly entertaining. My main point of interest with this group are the vocals, which in their inflection and melodic turns remind me of Richard "Sexy Sneer" Butler of seminal, carnality-obsessed 70s/80s UK rock band, The Psychedelic Furs. Go on, give them a listen in tandem. It's uncanny I tells ya.

Standout tracks: Loose Men, Restarter, ... read more
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Added on: November 7, 2014