Melbourne’s own Torrential Thrill is making a statement once again with the release of their second album!
Chris Malcher (Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar), Steve Morrell (Lead/Rhythm Guitar, Backing Vocals), Matt Morrell (Drums) and Steve ‘Knox’ Boyd (Bass, Gang Vocals) had been hard at work for eighteen months to create Nothing As It Seems; the hard work that these four put into the album is evident! Being produced by Matt D’Arcy at Basin Records, Nothing As It Seems is a beautiful album from start to finish; this eleven track, forty-six minute album is filled with classic riffs and thumping bass/drums which bring back memories of rock anthems from the 80’s.
The opening track ‘Scream’ starts out with a sound-byte of a scream before the instruments kick in; the drums and guitars kick in together, before the bass joins in a little bit later on, slowly building in a steady fashion to really invoke the head into banging along! Our first introduction to the vocals of Malcher is well worth the wait; nice and clean, but raw and powerful at the same time. ‘Scream’ is a great opening track that really paves the way for what is about to come on this album, showcasing the abilities of Torrential Thrill perfectly; nice riffs and emotional lyrics right out of the gate!
‘Human Zoo’ shifts it up a gear, with the guitar and drums coming at you hard and fast from the opening seconds of this track! Matt Morrell showcases his ability behind the drums with a nice little drum run before Malcher’s clean and crisp voice launches into a song that talks about how he’s “living in a liveable city” but it’s “a world that ain’t got you”, as well as describing what it’s like to “live behind the doors of this god damn human zoo.” Hard hitting lyrics will make you listen to this track again and again, as it draws you in with the emotional that’s driven perfectly by the remaining layers that make up Torrential Thrill.
‘Hail Mary’ opens with a slightly higher sound than the previous two tracks, but that doesn’t last long; once this track gets into motion, there’s no stopping it. Opening lyrics “Give it up, you’ve had your day!” come at you hard and fast; Malcher’s vocals pairing quite nicely with that of Knox on ‘Hail Mary’, hopefully not for the last time! The chorus comes at you hard and fast, this reviewer’s head was nodding along to the guitar so much that it was hard to get this review done; such is the energy that Torrential Thrill radiate, very much like that of Judas Priest.
It is quite fitting that the title track ‘Nothing As It Seems’ also happens to be the longest on the album, coming in at just shy of six minutes long. Making another statement is the fact “Nothing As It Seems’ starts out with a solo guitar melodically playing, before a secondary guitar is layered over the top; Malcher is really showcasing just how talented he is from a vocal perspective, as his voice is the driving force for the first portion of this song. Once the drums and electric guitar get heavier, so do the vocals; Malcher harmonizing perfectly with the tempo change that takes place, before slowing back down to the clean resonating vocals he showed originally. This track was most definitely fitting of being the title track!
‘Waking The Neighbours’ comes at you from a completely different direction; it most definitely caught this reviewer off guard, the slight build-up before the guitars kick in was really refreshing. Once again this reviewer found his head banging along to the rhythm, as ‘Waking The Neighbours’ is just a nice neatly constructed gem from start to finish!
The opening drums in ‘Wild Child’ were a nice way to open up the middle track of the album, with the guitars and Malcher’s lyrics falling in line perfectly alongside Matt Morrell behind his kit! The chorus showcased Malcher snarling when delivering his lyrics, in such a venomous and hate-filled way that made this reviewer keen to look up when he can see this song performed ASAP.
‘Escape With Your Life’ once again changes the way it opens, this time being led by Knox on bass; it’s a very mellow and relaxed atmosphere compared to the rest of Nothing As It Seems, almost being a mixture of surfer rock and classic, stripped to the bone rock. Malcher shows off his ability to hit the high notes as well, before there is a small aggressive breakdown that leads into Knox making an appearance on ‘gang vocals’. The song lifts another gear as it hits the halfway point and doesn’t look back from there, as Torrential Thrill keep the high energy screaming through their instruments that would blow the roof off any venue this song gets performed in!
Coming in at 3:15, eighth song ‘Not My President’ is the shortest song on the album; that just means that Torrential Thrill have come out all guns blazing from the get go! Chugging guitar, hard hitting lyrics and the snarling vocals of Malcher make ‘Not My President’ this reviewer’s favourite song on Nothing As It Seems; the constant references to Trump and the current state of affairs in America, such as “you maniacs still picked him” for example make for a very emotional and scarily accurate representation of the USA! The second half of ‘Not My President’ somehow manages to be more hard hitting and in your face; make sure you’ve securely fastened your safety harness and keep all arms/legs inside the ride at all times.
‘Feel Like Dying’ is a very touching song that showcases the grief and turmoil that someone goes through after losing their father; the clean and emotional filled lyrics are just as hard hitting as the guitar that pierces its way into your eardrums! Lyrics like “I say father, I never really knew your pain” and “it gets harder; every night I feel your pain” expresses just how torn apart by the loss this person is, as well as how much it is effecting them deeply; the clean and passionate vocals lead the way in ‘Feel Like Dying’, which is why this song works so well.
‘Through The Fire’ starts out with an acoustic guitar and Malcher singing away in perfect harmony; the opening lines describe about hitting rock bottom and reaching out for help that never appears, shows you the emotional strength behind this song that will get everybody singing in harmony because they’ve all been there before! Never getting out of a nice pub rock gear, ‘Through The Fire’ is a nice mixture of a nice soft ballad being paired with the occasional slightly more aggressive and raw guitar/drums. This will most definitely have people waving their lighters around when it gets played live, as well as more than likely quite a few drunken embraces between friends!
‘No Pretender’ draws Nothing As It Seems to a close; however Torrential Thrill make sure to go out with a bang! From the nice guitar riff at the start, to the harmonizing that Malcher does before launching into the opening lyric “I won’t be satisfied; until I know you’re mine”; you know you should check your safety harness one last time, as you’re in for a hell of a ride. The lyrics are hard hitting, the guitar and drums providing it with the perfect background to stand out against; ‘No Pretender’ is going to most definitely either end up as a show opener or show closer in the not too distant future! The chants of “I will fight” and “No Pretender” are going to have the crowd chanting back in unison with the band as they strut their stuff onstage.