After the band's initial assembly in 2007, and creating a self-titled full length album, Those Who Bring The Torture then disbanded in 2010. In 2012 Those Who Bring The Torture (from this point on will be referred to as TWBTT) reunited. Presently TWBTT will be releasing their fourth full-length album Piling Up on on August 19th, 2014. This death metal band from Sweden has put down some serious tracks in the past, but here we are in 2014, awaiting a fourth full-length album. Will we get a natural progression and more mature sounding album, or is TWBTT content with creating what's seemingly worked for them in the past?
While comparing their past album Lullabies for the Deranged to Piling Up, it's clear TWBTT was starting to find their sound. In Lullabies for the Deranged there was the present traditional death metal focus, but much of the guitar work varied from track to track. In all, the album did not produce a flow as one might expect. On the contrary, Piling Up exhibits this sole attribute in which Lullabies for the Deranged failed to conquer.
Piling Up seems to have targeted TWBTT's sound more. Addressing this through their guitars which seemed to be adjusted more to the tune of traditional death metal, the riff-based songs have mini solos scattered throughout, and a limited melodic theme is present. The trampling double bass throughout the album may seem too redundant and over shadowing, but this force drives the album's mood, comparable to a rolling dark cloud that builds with each track. The vocals are considerably stronger, containing the dark lows which are to be expected. There are also substantial higher-pitched screams that are utilized proficiently to elevate the album's already stampeding qualities. A great example of this is most evident in the last portion of the track "In Orbit".
"Life Sucker" contains a catchy chorus type structure, and the driving guitar efforts on this track balance the song. This technique is not used as much as one would desire. Several of the tracks on the album lack that distinguishing feel which a catchy chorus and mind bending guitar antics would assist in creating. Acknowledging this, Piling Up still seems light years ahead of their previously releases.
This newest release is a good album (note: not excellent, or even great). For what it lacks in unique ingenuity, it makes up for in the consistent, focused, traditional sound and mood. This works for and against TWBTT in that they have finally found their sound and brought one heavy dark album, but in doing this they birthed an album that sounds reasonably comparable to many other death metal bands. One can hope that Piling Up is TWBTT's last stepping stone before breaking out into a truly genre-defining band. This album is a substantial 7 out of 10. If one's looking for a heavy dark focused death metal band, pop this album in, it will grow on you. If one is looking for a newer sound or twist in an already saturated genre, I would urge searching elsewhere.