Fans of extreme metal in all of its various forms are crying out for innovation. While there is an abundance of great records that have seen the light of day already this year, far too many of them have been just a little bit too “safe”. 2014 has already seen some stellar offerings from Son Of Aurelius and Pyrrhon that have rewritten the rules of their relevant genres and with Truth Knowledge Vision, the gentlemen that name themselves Torrential Downpour have thrown out the rule book completely. This band are so forward thinking that they must surely come from the future.
First and foremost, this album sounds spectacular. Considering they have such a busy and chaotic sound in parts, everything comes together and creates a wall of noise where every instrument and drum hit can be distinguished from the next. The clarity of the bass tone in ‘The Offering’ is marvellous, rumbling below the guitars and tribal percussion while the cacophony that the band love to dip their toes in to is never over powering. The guitars and keys in instrumental tracks ‘Eynih’ and ‘Ride Of Your Life’ simply shimmer, a beautiful aura and the perfect foil of guttural screeching and sci-fi inspired metal mayhem. An over reliance on the whammy pedal does grate somewhat after hearing it for 50 minutes but this particular guitar trick works marvelously when syncing with the harsh vocals.
Opening track ‘Helotry’ sets the standard for much of what is to come with layered harmonies and an unexpected shift into heavy territory. It is these shifts in momentum and overall feel that Torrential Downpour execute like few others. All too often a song is meandering around a spacey, clean guitar lick when straight out of nowhere the drums kick back in and the track blows up, turning into a blistering, digital nightmare of noise. This band are equally as impressive when destroying eardrums as when they simmer down. ‘The Offering’ begins with Meshuggah worship worthy of the genre luminaries themselves before descending into a melancholic passage that slams straight back into the vicious groove of before. The song does not finish there as it still has time to wind down into an, almost uplifting, key laden outro.
There are far too many moments of ingenuity present here to discuss, even with regards to the two songs closest to being labelled single worthy. ‘Satan, Whatever’ and ‘Bring The Stars Down’ are both full of this trademark sound, with an audacious mix of clean and choral vocals over rapid time signature changes and wild, fretboard burning guitars. Every member of the band has something to contribute to each and every song on this album. The stringed instruments and keys work that well together that it would be impossible to imagine these songs working without this cohesion. It has also been a long time since such a varied and inspired vocal performance has stood out. From bellows and screeches to choral singing and immaculately delivered cleans, Truth Knowledge Vision has it all.
All too often, high scores are given for albums that showcase the best parts of the genres they fall under. This is not the case here. Equal parts innovation, homage and absurdity have left Torrential Downpour at the forefront of genre defying music acts today. Some won’t get it, but then again, some just don’t have the capacity to appreciate a musical odyssey such as this. Truth Knowledge Vision is a world beater and a half.
Torrential Downpour’s Truth Knowledge Vision gets…