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“The Great Depression” is the second album release from Liverpool’s Torture Garden and comes two years after their debut opus “Dead Romantic”. With a style that fuses doom, black and death metal, Torture Garden this time has injected a little industrial and folk metal influence into the mix to add a little more spice and variation into things but as their artwork will testify too, this is a down right darkened affair.


This thirteen track Goliath of an album spans two discs and weighs in at the length of an hour and fifty minutes. Opening with the title track “The Great Depression” which is a four minute stab at the modern world and society, the spoken word quietly yet effectively slaying all aspects of life with a massive hint at domestic affairs rather than the usual US bollocks and one of it’s latter sentiments speaks of any day where David Cameron isn’t swinging from his bollocks is a sad day, followed by a plea to hate the rich and earlier the punishing wit that says “The closest you have ever come to evolution is watching planet of the apes”… cutting, decisive and hitting so close to the mark it should come with a health and safety sticker, at least in the eyes of those who deem these type of things to matter and don’t remember the days of common sense, and all this before a note has been struck!


“Pervert” opens with sounds of the schoolyard and said pervert watching, getting off on what he sees before a slow, mournful bass line plays solemnly and is eventually joined by the plucked tones of guitar and slow, methodical symbol and snare beats. A pained, bizarre and unsettling voice begins to sing, clean vocals but not meant for enjoyment, sinister and creepy before Torture Garden finally hit into things with a muffled drumming sound, raw industrial tinged harsh vocals and a cold, repetitive guitar drone. Production wise things are not superb and the whole affair is tinged with an almost lo-fi feeling where every element is fighting against each other to be truly heard.


I had high hopes for this album especially as the introduction played out in it’s haunting, eerier way but it seems to me that Torture Garden have way too many ideas for what their talent can handle. The clean and often spoken word vocals are, and there is no easy or softly way of putting this, terrible. Musically things just don’t seem to ever take off and no flow is to be found. Instead the band meander almost aimlessly between ill conceived bass segments or acoustic sections and it seems more effort has gone into the message and the undertones which heave with mechanical noises, than into the actual music which for the most part takes a back seat to the band trying get across their point, which whilst valid and having many a point that I agree with, makes for a dire listening experience.


If Torture Garden wanted to create something that resembled their name then job well done, but this is not a music album and after five tracks I have switched off as there is no way I can sit through two hours of this.