“Sexually Transmitted Torture” 

by Thor

Kansas City’s Torn the Fuck Apart returns with a new full-length album of gore-soaked death-grind called “Sexually Transmitted Torture.”

“Sexually Transmitted Torture” is my first significant exposure to Torn the Fuck Apart and based on this latest dose, there’s an awful lot to like here.  Their approach to music starts with the standard brutal death metal tropes—guttural vocals, blast beats, guitars tuned to negative-Z—but they also utilize some elements that give their representation of this well-worn style a bit of a twist.
There are several passages of classically-inspired guitar work that surprisingly don’t undermine the overall brutality of the songs.  It recalls early Cryptopsy and it works really well.  Torn the Fuck Apart is also fond of dropping in samples that reinforce the conceptual premises of the songs.  They’re not musical samples, but rather they’re typically of women in various stages of duress and while it’s effective, it does sort of typify one area in which this band is run-of-the-mill.  These songs are predictably all about misogyny and worse, depicting all manner of violent sexual atrocities.  At this point in the evolution of death metal, these ideas are like the fart jokes of extreme music.  It’s neither horrifying nor amusing; it’s just cliché and juvenile, but no one’s listening to these guys for relationship advice, I suppose.
In addition to the pervasive classical instrumentation throughout the album, “Sexually Transmitted Torture” also emphasizes a ton of groove and some slam.  While Torn the Fuck Apart occasionally does so with an abundance of stop/start riffing that’s annoyingly similar to some modern iterations of “core”—not my favorite thing in the world—these guys mostly do it with legitimate death metal leanings.
This album’s biggest weakness is that, occasionally, it sounds like Torn the Fuck Apart throw everything against the wall to see what sticks.  The result is that some songs contain elements that sound arbitrary and superfluous.  The songs wherein the fat has been removed are killer and that’s when the album is at its most muscular—and, fortunately, that describes the majority of “Sexually Transmitted Torture.”

If songs such as “Autopsy of a Cunt,” “Sulfuric Semen Skank Dunk Tank,” and “Inserted Vaginal Castration Device” sound like your thing, then by all means, Torn the Fuck Apart’s “Sexually Transmitted Torture” will be right up your alley.  If you’re into something a bit –higher-concept, then you might want to take a pass on this one.  Either way, these guys play it brutally heavy and unapologetically.