Tuesday, 16 February 2021

Album Review: TODD LA TORRE - Rejoice In The Suffering



01. Dogmata
02. Pretenders
03. Hellbound And Down
04. Darkened Majesty
05. Crossroads to Insanity
06. Critical Cynic
07. Rejoice In The Suffering
08. Vexed
09. Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall
10. Apology
11. Fractured (Bonus Track)
12. Set It Off (Bonus Track)
13. One By One (Bonus Track)

Todd La Torre is without doubt a fantastic singer. He was the perfect replacement for Geoff Tate in Queensrÿche, sounding quite similar, but more powerful. In fairness, Todd is over a decade and a half younger, and is still absolutely on top of his game vocally. His talents don't stop there. I was surprised to find out that he played drums on the last Queensrÿche studio album, The Verdict (read my review here), and he did a fantastic job. Naturally, when I heard that Todd was going to release a solo album, I had to check it out. 

Fuck me, this is good! Vocally, Todd is capable of so much more than what he does in his day job. He has some Rob Halford-style screams down. In fact, parts of the record remind me of Rob's old band Fight, mixing Traditional Metal, Thrash, heavy grooves and melody.

Crossroads To Insanity has a nice Iron Maiden feel about it, bridging the gap between epic Metal and ballad territory. Vanguards Of  The Dawn Wall is a brutal, thrashing monster, and possibly the heaviest song about rock climbing ever. Hellbound And Down is another slab of balls-out face-shredding Metal that's as irresistible as it is crushing.

I also love the ethereal Apology, which has a Maiden-meets-Alice In Chains vibe.

Rejoice In The Suffering is a killer modern Metal album, beautifully produced, and with well crafted, memorable songs. Even the bonus tracks are killer, especially Fractured with its bouncy riffs and haunting chorus.

I'm not going to lie. I like Rejoice In The Suffering way more than any of his work with Queensrÿche. I doubt it will sell as well, hence the power of familiar brands, but it certainly deserves to. This is A-grade Heavy Metal, from one of the genre's finest. Superb indeed!

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