This quartet specializes in face-melting volume, pounding riffage, and a churning, breakneck-speed riffage section. But don’t tag ’em with the “m” word – Torche is a band possessing the rare ability to create heavy, heavy sounds that remain versatile and nuanced. With a floating overlay of intelligent, almost shoegazey textures, the band has gained a strangely eclectic, fiercely loyal international legion of fans thanks to opening slots on tours with everyone from Isis to Mogwai. Their self-titled debut LP, released on the indie Robotic Empire, scored raves from the likes of Decibel and Spin. Even Pitchfork raved about their live appearance at the Gramercy Theatre during CMJ last fall with the legendary Jesu. A follow-up full-length is due out later this year on Hydra Head, and, like the debut, was engineered by Kurt Ballou of Converge. You’ve been warned. -- Arielle Castillo
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Here's live video of Torche performing "Safe" and "Mentor" last fall at Lee's Palace, Toronto.