Torchia - Ending Beginning (EP) (2015)

Every day - and we me every single day - hundreds if not thousands of bands are cropping up all over the world. Influences by their favorite artists, the new generation of metal is growing exponentially. And over the last decade, we've seen a changing of the guard in every genre. But there isn't always room for patience in the music business.  For Tampere, Finland's Torchia, time spent waiting is time wasted. With a new lineup in place since their 2013 oNe EP, they feel they are better poised than ever to make a giant, bleeding mark on the melodic death market. Their new EP, the three track Ending Beginning, is every bit the sharpened, yet jagged blade you'd need to make it hurt just the right way. But the genre is crowded, and there are established bands who might not be ready to give up the throne. You can't always wait for the old superstars to retire; sometimes you just need to give them one last kick out of the spotlight.

The title track comes roaring in with all of the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the face. It isn't reckless; just a well directed and powerful blow. But that opening stanza only tels a small fraction of the whole story. There are highlights in every twist and turn, particularly in the sweeping guitar riffs that abound. The duo of Ville Riitamaa and Henri Heikkinen, lead and rhythm respectively, are in lock step with one another, landing on every beat with surgical precision. It's that foundation that shines brightest over the length of the EP, continually raising an eyebrow with a great melody or devastating stomp. As unrelenting as it may seem at time - and it will seem that way at it's heaviest moments - there is also a fair amount of lateral movement to be had. No, you won't find a soul moving ballad here or an electronic tinged beat box. But for a genre that is typically full speed ahead, Torchia do their part to keep the three songs presented separate from one another. Even in the firestorm of growled and screeched vocals, you'll find changes of style and tone.

You can say you want to kickstart a genre. Hell, you could say you want to be the Queen of England. But what you do, and how well you do it will always speak more than your words every could. Torchia are saying all the right things. But even more than that, they are doing all the right things. These three songs are proof positive that this current incarnation of the band is well on it's way to something bigger than obscurity. The songwriting, creative process, and the vision are all there for the world to see and hear. If they continue to grow at this rate, it'd be too easy to jump to some lofty conclusions. But growth isn't a guarantee, and it sure isn't a constant for all bands. If this band, in it's current lineup, can stay together, stay focused on improvement, and deliver a full length with the same energy and bravado as Ending Beginning, they'll be in a different class entirely.

9/10

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