Blowtorch – “Hangoverdose” (Inverse Records)
Battle Helm Rating
Despite their obvious love of booze amid the clanking of bottles on this debut, the deep n soulful hard rock of this Finnish band goes beyond the bar and straight into your heart. Blowtorch actually formed back in 2013, and got off to a good start releasing 3 EPs. However, the gradual departure of its original members (except whisky soaked bassist Tero) resulted in the band playing its last gig in 2018, whereupon their backdrop was ceremoniously placed into a coffin and transported out from the stage – although exactly 180 days after the ‘funeral’, Blowtorch did ‘the world’s fastest comeback’ commemorated in the single ‘Celebrate (My Suicide)’!!! Even recording this debut last year didn’t go without a hitch, namely the hard drive of the studio computer breaking down, but nevertheless it’s now here, and man, it was well worth it. But don’t be expecting some party or cock rock band, Blowtorch live up to their name in bringing the fire, but equally an unexpected heartfelt emotion felt through deep melodies, crooning harmonies and most of all, straight up passion in the steaming performances on the 11 tracks making up this impressive debut! Crashing in on the aforementioned ‘Celebrate (My Suicide)’ with its thick meandering riffs laced with rock n roll melodies and raucous shout outs, it’s the massive crooning chorus that gives this alcohol flavored hard rock the edge in being highly catchy and memorable. Then there’s the fast ‘Asses On Shoulders’ with its neck snapping beats and multiple vocals from Tero and guitarist Niko creating plenty of energy as the guitars shred although again, a powering main melody and another catchy singalong chorus make this one a winner, especially if you love fast guitar work with plenty of breaks and solos. Opening atmospherically on ‘Voidbearer’ soon gives rise to more melodically tinged guitars until the power comes in amid rough, hungover vocals (well, that’s the theme here) singing with deep emotion which certainly hits the spot even as the riffs get harder – all in all an excellent mix proving that despite many difficulties this band came back stronger than ever with this new line-up.