You gotta love the badassery on display in this photo.
A big thank-you to byrd36 (Death Metal Baboon) for his recent NCS comment reminding me to check in with Sweden’s Torture Division, because they have recently released yet another very fine — and very free — demo (or you could call it an EP, if you prefer).
byrd36’s comment was in the context of a post discussing the relative merits and demerits of EPs and full-length albums and the strategy of releasing more frequent but shorter collections of music rather than more widely-spaced album-length collections. Torture Division’s practice is to release short demos and give them away for free. In fact, they have no plans to record an album — ever.
However, every time they finish releasing a group of three demo’s, they’ve been giving labels permission to package them up and sell them as compilation CDs. So far, this has happened twice (two CDs have been released, each collecting three demo’s). The demo that they’ve just released is the second in the current run of three. So, presumably after they release the third demo, we’ll see yet another compilation CD.
Here’s the answer they give on their web site to the question “What’s the goal with this?”
“To record three demos first. After that we’ll do the next trilogy of demos. And then we’ll do another trilogy following those. And another… And another… An album? We are not interested in recording an album at this point. We never were. Too many shit bands are flooding the market, bands who shouldn’t have an album out with their name on it. We are not willing to be a part of that and we wish that more bands followed our example.
We have already turned down a bunch of labels who wanted to sign us, simply becoz we are not interested in signing a record deal. nor record a traditional album. We like to give the people free music, and in return we expect people to support us by buying our shirts and whatnot. The eventual profit we make from that will go straight into future demo recordings and the printing of new shirts.”
. . . “But”, we hear you say, “you have an album or 2 out on some label(s), how do you explain that?”. Easy, those are compilations of our demo trilogies (and the first of those CD’s, “With endless wrath we bring upon thee our infernal torture”, includes our 2008 Christmas 7″ as a bonus). We let them release it becoz they really wanted to and we got some free copies and whatnot to sell so we can finance further recordings and merchandise. The label(s) own no rights whatsoever to the material and if anyone else wanna release any of our material on a CD – go ahead. Just talk to us first so we can work something out.”
The really well-put-together Torture Division web site (HERE) has lots more info about the band’s history and mission, in addition to links for all of their demo releases. For example, you’ll learn that the three members of the band — Lord K Philipson (guitar) ,Tobben Gustafsson (drums), and Jörgen Sandström (bass/vocals) — collectively have over 60 years of combined death metal experience, including membership in bands such as Grave, Entombed, Vicious Art, The Project Hate MCMXCIX, Vomitory, and God Among Insects. In their words, “we know what we do, we love what we do and that we will keep on doing it until the end of days.”
You will also learn, in the band’s own words, that they play “the world’s best death metal.” I’m pretty sure they say that with their tongues in their cheeks, but seriously, their music is one big keg of whoop-ass death metal just waiting to be tapped.
Once upon a time there was Coke Classic. Over time Coke started fucking around with the formula and adding variants, and now you have Diet Coke; Coke Zero; cherry Coke; cherry Coke Zero; Coke with lemon, lime or raspberry; black cherry vanilla Coke; and more. Torture Division is the Coke Classic of death metal. It’s pared-to-the-bone, three-piece clobbering, with as much evil authenticity as you could ask for.
The music isn’t as distorted as on those early releases by Dismember and Entombed, but it still sounds massive. The production quality is excellent, and sharp. The songs on Satan, Sprit och Våld are a blend of mid-paced and thrash-speed rhythms and they’re filled with big meat-hooks of groove and spinning drill-bits of tremolo-implemented occultism. Jörgen Sandström’s vocals are also wonderful. If I had to compare the style to a U.S. band, I’d pick Immolation first.
Yes indeed, they know what they do, and the experience and feel for this kind of music shows in spades. Here are all three tracks from the new demo for you to stream. If you like this and decide to download the music for yourselves, leave a donation on the Torture Division site to help finance future demo’s. That would genuinely be a gift that keeps on giving.
“Otukt“[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/02_Torture_Division-Otukt.mp3|titles=Torture Division – Otukt]
“Satan, Sprit och Våld”[audio:https://www.nocleansinging.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/03_Torture_Division-Satan_Sprit_och_Vald.mp3|titles=Torture Division – Satan Sprit och Vald]