[colored_box color=”grey”]Rating: 8.5
Label: Dynamic Arts Records
Website: Link
Author: Aggelos “Redneck” Katsouras[/colored_box]

 It’s already been ten years since the release of debut album ”For Maggots To Devour” by Finnish deathsters from Turku Torture Killer. It was clear that the band had not only taken its name from a Six Feet Under track off the 1999 ”Maximum Violence” album, but also the sound of the famous Americans. Also, Chris Barnes contributed his growling vocals on the second album ”Swarm” in 2006 and the band became much widely known. A gap of three years until the previous album ”Sewers” didn’t manage to put them back and after the release of ”I Chose Death” EP a year ago, it’s time for the fourth full-length album called ”Phobia”.

The recipe is known and doesn’t change at all, groovy speeding death metal like Six Feet Under at most parts, only this time the result comes even closer after the departure of previous growler Juri Salinen and the arrival of Pessi Haltsonen, whose growling comes even closer to that of Chris Barnes, in a point where you’ll catch yourself wondering that it’s the real new SFU album. The truth is that the Americans haven’t released such good albums as Torture Killer have done since their formation. A listening to their latest album ”Unborn” compared to the result of ”Phobia” will convince you easily.

The quintet uses a simple artillery but wins the battle in the end, just by attacking relentlessly to the listener with all kinds of death metal you may like. Fast with blasting drums, groovy with rhythms that might make you go back and forth if you sit on a chair or even start banging by bouncing your feet up. And of course, some more doomy crawling parts couldn’t be missing, so that the result comes out more spicy in the end. ”Devil’s Reject” is a great track to open the album, just before it ends the title track ”Phobia” takes over and you realise you have once more a work full of quality from Torture Killer.

It is amazing that these Finnish guys play something for which they can’t be acknowledged as personal sound, but on the other hand they do it so well that you can’t blame them. Especially if you compare this 35 minute album to some other ones from more famous death metal bands, they will lose the game before it even starts. Haltsonen must have studied Barne’s vocals and performances very carefully, as he sounds like on the 1994-1995 era of Chris, in the two best albums he’s done in his career (”The Bleeding” with Cannibal Corpse and ”Haunted” with Six Feet Under).

To be honest, I didn’t expect once again a fresh sounding material coming close to the one of ”Sewers”. I don’t know if it’s their best album but maybe it’s even better than ”Sewers” or ”Swarm”. Simply because there is a little more variety this time, the change of rhythms, the change of vocalist and the steady performances of the rest four members drive you to the conclusion that this album might in the end be included in your top-20 albums of 2013. We still have April and eight more months ahead, but ”Phobia” won the impressions and a place in my personal most heard albums the last months. Check it out for a quick convincing dose of straight death metal.

Track List Line Up
01. Devil’s Reject
02. Phobia
03. Await His Third Arrival
04. Written In Blood
05. Faces Of My Victims
06. March Of Death
07. The Book Of A Dying World
08. Epitaph
09. Voices
Kim Torniainen – Bass
Tuomo Latvala – Drums
Tuomas Karppinen – Guitars
Jari Laine – Guitars, Vocals (Backing)
Pessi Haltsonen – Vocals