I’ve gotta confess, I’ a sucker for the EP format. Bands can either provide a taste of what’s to come, bust out a few cover versions, or stretch themselves into areas they wouldn’t feel comfortable with in an album format. Given our current global situation, the past year plus has given cause for many bands to pause and reflect on what it means to continue on, or if they can even financially/emotionally manage to do so. And, not for nothing, some brilliant art in all forms has been born from that reflection.

GREAT AMERICAN GHOST has taken that time, looked inward, and now looks outward with the short yet poignant Torture World. Never a band to embrace or truly be called “this” or “that”-core, GAG reminds us by strapping us in and starting off this rollercoaster with ‘Kingmaker’. Anvil-clang percussion, staccato riffing and rhythms shifting, moving beneath the consciousness, let memorable, Ethan Harrison’s vocals very much of the hardcore delivery style, but able to ride this hysterical over-under-sideways-down of a tune, even if one feels at any moment the whole thing might go off the track. The title track burns slower, but no less inflammatory/incendiary, the quartet injecting a few melodic moments. Remembrances of FROM A SECOND STORY WINDOW’s finer work can be found here, but when the (don’t call it a) breakdown that starts at 2:35 turns into pummeling Cro-Magnon death at 2:50 – even though it’s simply a variation on the same riff – I’m sold.

Closer ‘Death Forgives No One’ lumbers at the start, quickly revealing itself as that moment where all that’s come before coalesces, and that’s when you realize this Torture World of ours is all the better for a band like GREAT AMERICAN GHOST being around.
Review By: Lord Randall

Torture World [EP]
MNRK Heavy
4 / 6