Severe Torture – Torn from the Jaws of Death Review

Anyone remember Severe Torture? These Dutch fiends were swimming in the filth of the death metal scene through the early 2000s releasing grisly products like Misanthropic Carnage and Fall of the Despised. Their sound fell somewhere between Cannibal Corpse and Suffocation and though they weren’t genre leaders, they always brought the war hammer to the party. I reviewed their 2010 Slaughtered opus in my early days as an AMGer and found it entertaining if a bit standard issue. They called it a day after that and didn’t release anything again until a short EP in 2022. That inspired the band to come back in force and now we get Torn from the Jaws of Death. With the same lineup from 2010 save for a new drummer, these death vets are well-rested and it shows. This is high-octane, all gas no brakes death metal full of aggression and anti-religious animosity, but the years have taught the band how to season their atrocities in the abyss, adding melodic tricks and slightly proggy treats to keep things fresh. Basically, it’s a war hammer with blinking Christmas lights and a nice leatherbound handle. JOY!

With nary a second wasted on a moody intro, the wiolence lands fast on opener “The Death of Everything,” which is blasting, merciless murder music with a strong Deicide vibe bouncing off Morbid Angel influences at the speed of the typical Deeds of Flesh output. It won’t impress with innovation, but the writing is sharp and it will beat you into absolute shit-pulp. The riffs are skin-flaying and Dennis Schreurs sounds a lot like prime Glen Benton. The inspired melodic guitar work is a win and the heavy grooves are ass-pasting. The punishment continues on equally blasting “Marked by Blood and Darkness” and the big clangy bass presence is offset well by razor-sharp riffing. The proggy edge seeps in on “Hogtied in Rope” and rather than denuding the brutality, it makes it more engaging, offering twists, turns, and a Vomitory-esque vibe.

The title track introduced a blackened edge alongside Morbid Angel-flavored slithery riffwork, adding a grandiose vibe to the ugliness. The album improves as it unfolds, with later cuts like “Christ Immersion” and ” Putrid Remains” pushing the sound and style outward without losing the essential ferocity. The former is a very Deicide-esque sounding cut but better than anything those Christ bashers have released in decades, and the latter sounds like vintage Floridian death infected by a Vader virus. Nothing here approaches filler and every song is a righteous clubbing. That said, by the back half there’s a sense that the songs bleed into one another due to the similarity of the blasting pace. With the album running 38-plus minutes and the songs slotted in the 3-5 minute window, Severe Torture ensure that it flies by in a flash and never overstays its welcome. It ends before I expect it to every time, which is a good sign.

The main attraction is the inspired guitar work by Thijs van Laarhoven and Marvin Vriesde. These chaps back up a truck overflowing with nasty riffs and dump them all over your lawn to fester. Good luck cleaning them up too, because they stick (and stink). As good as the riffage is, the melodic moments really shine amid the shitstorm. They show restraint in just how much melody they allow into the meatgrinder and their relative paucity makes sure they stand out and enhance the spew stew. Marvin Vriesde has developed as a death metal vocalist. In the old days, I found him one-note and monotonous but here he spreads his wings and sounds more versatile yet appropriately grotesque. Yes, he often sounds like Glen Benton, but early 90s Glen, so it works. The backline is very talented, with Patrick Boleij’s basswork audible and impressive and new kit man Damiën Kerpentier putting on an insane display of speed and endurance.

Torn from the Jaws of Death is a flamethrower of a death metal album suitable for the soundtrack of a Mad Max movie. It’s unrelentingly heavy but has enough technical flair and smart writing to keep you locked into the death rapture. The time away did Severe Torture a world of good, and I’m surprised just how vicious these olde dogs sound. I recommend a loud, angry spin and then a trip back through their past misdeeds of evil. MOAR Torture!

Rating: 3.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Season of Mist
Websites: | |
Releases Worldwide: June 7th, 2024

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