If there is one thing that writing for The Circle Pit has taught me, it is, that at any one time, there are approximately 5000 brilliant bands that I haven't heard of. They come in various guises; amazing but lazy, Hard working but unlucky, highly motivated but clueless about publicity or those just starting out. Which is why, I have learnt to observe social networks like a hawk, searching for that tiny twitch of comment or suggestion which may alert me to the existence of the next act to rock my ears and tear my vocabulary asunder.
Well one day, not too long ago I was on-line. I saw a post; it pertained to a band whom had repeatedly been let down or ignored by reviewers. My Spidey senses tingled at this. For there is nothing I enjoy more than to take advantage of another's ignorance. Send me your album, I said, I'll give it a listen. No promises, I added, keeping my options open, even though my intuition told me that this would be no idle declaration.
This is Turin were the band in question and they have produced an album which is a detail orientated amalgam of the positive qualities of most facets of modern metal. Using Death metal as their jumping off point, they coat their song writing with an eclectic gilt which speaks as much of their musical fascination as it does of a burning desire to create.
Much as Ovids Withering managed with their debut, This is Turin assault the senses and pluck at the mind strings with a furiously fecund box of tricks. Their guitars vacillate between fractal driven tapping and rage inspired aspiration yet manage to incorporate phrases of open hearted melody and thrash headed sweeps. Their willingness of celebrate moments of touching sensitivity in the midst of passages of unmitigated brutality suggests that this is a collective of musicians with a darkly appreciative sense of humour and, crucially, the timing to make that impactful.
Vocally, Darryl Jones slithers with a grotesque delight from growling abrasion to a rasping sheen; the intent of which promises only vengeance. I have said on previous occasions that everything is better with between 5 and 15% Black Metal and his vocals certainly delivers on this quota. Making some sections ring with the thrill of the genuinely eerie. There are no cleans within the main body of the vocals but some higher register backing fills some moments with a plaintive swirl of textures which caught me off guard, coming as it did in the midst of searing aural invective.
Their rhythm section fuses professionalism to passion in a lucid and jealousy inspiring manner. Veering from Techish modality to blast-fueled runs the next. Each transition facilitated by a level of awareness suggestive of an enviable breadth of knowledge and a deep rooted desire to get people moving.
This action to inspiration and motivation to move is redolent of the significant seam of energy running through this album. Shifts in direction and momentum are exciting and captivating because of the considerable propulsive intent which this Cheshire based 5 piece manage to infuse into their music. Even though it is in turns bludgeoning and aggressive, it was the clever way that This is Turin connect their phrases together which most intrigued me.
The album is tidily produced without offering any substantial assistance to the songs, which is both revealing and mildly frustrating. As it presents the music directly and without unnecessary ornament but perhaps does not showcase the palpable talent on display in the best way possible.
However this is a minor detracting factor from what is otherwise a notable and darkly sinuous debut. Bleak and bouncing, brutish and blackened, I'm heartily glad it came my way, allowing me my own personal joy at finding delight and excitement through the ignorance of others.
Cercis will be available to purchase early in 2015.
– John Whitmore