ReviewsConcert ReviewsFilms

Top 10ResourcesStaffFeedback


Artist: Torn
Record Label: Ionic Records
Website: www.m8.com/torn
Length: 9 + 2 tracks/44:03 minutes


With a name like Torn, what else could this band be but hard rock? The first song, "Receive," opens with fierce drumming and roars of pain from Carter (no first name is given anywhere), lead singer and mastermind behind the band. Loud guitars and Carter's singing/shouting/rumbling are characteristic of the album. But with an instrumental track and the addition of "the blessed monks of St. Lloydius et cartius" on "Life" plus two bonus tracks at the end of the album, Tree never becomes boring or tedious,. Tree is actually a re-release of the independent tape that landed Torn a record deal with Ionic Records. Apart from the addition of two bonus tracks and a little cleaning up of the production, which is reasonable but still falters because Carter's vocals are drowned out by the noisy and dark musical environment. Chad Linton's drumming and Mark Lebreton's guitaring are equally predominant, as they should be. However, Carter's rough and obscure vocals can become tedious, making some songs unworthy of continuous play.

One major error is the packaging. The two bonus tracks have been switched, so that 'Maybe In Time' is actually track ten when the back says it is track 11. The layout is somewhat annoying, lacking lyrics, apart from "Maybe In Time" Carter does tell us a little about the lyrics in the sleeve. "This is a collection of some of the songs I wrote during the lowest time in my life. They are an honest reflection of my thoughts and emotions during this time." The lyrics can be found on Torn's website, but it's a shame they are not included with the album, because they are some of the most poetic and honest I've read From "Receive":

Restrained, limitations conquer me 
Contained, pain flows so deep
Blame, resting over me
Shame, brings death into my dreams
Living, state of endless grief
Dying, sweet breath of relief
Praying that you will end my pain
Crying for hurt to fly away
While I live receive me, while I live
While I die receive me, while I die
The music fits the somber themes of the lyrics. The guitars help portray a gloomy message of hurt, pain and bitterness, feelings we all can relate to. But Carter doesn't just wallow in self-pity and sadness - in all but two songs Carter offers up a prayer to God. 'Maybe In Time' (a piano-driven song which proves that Carter can actually sing) ends with the chorus stating:
Maybe in time
You'll find me by your side
Maybe in time
When I've no place left to hide
Maybe in time
Tree is for those searching for some hard, honest and melodic rock, along the lines of Tool and Metallica. Tree is a worthwhile purchase if you've got money left over after Christmas.

Eric Daams 1/15/2000


Copyright © 1996-2000 The Phantom Tollbooth