Vanishment – No More Torture Review

Vanishment: an act of vanishing or state of having vanished.

This pretty much sums up my Angry Metal involvement so far this year. Truth be told, I’ve kinda burned myself out on the reviewing gig the last couple of years, and when the going gets tough, I have a tendency to do like that Metallica song on the Mission: Impossible 2 soundtrack: I disappear. Whenever I’m faced with the question, “What superpower would you choose,” I almost always go with invisibility; I mean, I already have super strength, and while flight would be awesome, there’s nothing better than the thought of being able to pull a Bilbo Baggins and leave troubling circumstances and people standing befuddled with mouths agape as I head to greener pastures. Well, I’ve had a nice little sabbatical in solitary, but it feels like it’s time for me to rejoin gen-pop, even if it will be in a more limited capacity for a bit.1 And what better way to break my review fast than by covering a band named for my favorite defense mechanism?

No More Torture may be the debut album from Seattle’s Vanishment, but the music contained within is not the product of genre n00bs. The band’s members are grizzled metal and rock veterans, and they’ve chosen a pretty straightforward thrash style for this project. Promo materials cite Megadeth, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, and Metallica as Vanishment’s source material, and after spending time with the album, it’s hard to refute that list. These guys sound a lot like latter-day Metallica, and the leads throughout give off a very strong classic metal vibe. Embedded single and album opener “Door to Deceit” has some great driving riffs to start the record off and introduces the modern Hetfield-esque vocals of Rob Ropkins. The track then settles into a diverse sequence of surprisingly technical riffs and harmonized leads, making it an excellent introduction to the band’s sound.

Vanishment’s thrash is a dish best served fast. Songs like “Severed Cord” and the crossover-adjacent “Forced Compliance” find the band unleashing some great headbangable moments, and while the vast majority of the album could probably fall under the banner of “dad thrash,” this dad finds it quite enjoyable for the most part. Ropkins has a competent thrash shout, and while I wish his vocal performance was a bit more violent, it ends up suiting the music here quite well. The guitar work from Brian Johnson (ex-Himsa) and Jeremy McAllister (ex-Heiress) is by far Vanishment’s greatest asset. These guys throw down some great rhythms and their Maiden/Priest leads end up being the highlight of No More Torture for me.

A couple of issues prevent me from giving No More Torture my Hol-hearted recommendation. The production leaves a bit to be desired—I find the snare sound particularly distracting at times—and a couple of the slower songs feel like they miss the mark. “Killing the Sun” goes for an eerie, subdued vibe and the leads during the song’s slower section simply sound strange and off-key. Closer “Lost Hope for Comfort” has a lot of great thrash going on throughout its 7-minute runtime, but the song drags on a couple of minutes too long and kills some of the momentum that earlier, heavier tracks worked to build. If the embedded track tickles your fancy, I’d recommended checking out “Dismiss the Warning,” “Forced Compliance,” “Severed Cord,” and “Death Calls.”

No More Torture proves that Vanishment possesses the raw materials to craft some really good thrash, but for my money, they’ll need to dial up the heaviness quotient on future releases to truly capitalize on that potential. That said, there’s more than enough quality here to warrant a spin or two from you thrash fiends out there.

Rating: 2.5/5.0
DR: 6 | Format Reviewed: 320 kbps mp3
Label: Dead Sage Records
Websites: |
Releases Worldwide: March 3rd, 2023

Show 1 footnote

  1. I don’t blame you. I’ve been shanked 4 times this month alone. – Steel
« »