|Genre||Hard Soul Rock|
|Release Date||6 September 2019|
|Record Label||Mighty Music|
Living Colour is one of the first heavy metal bands I ever listened to. I mean, I had heard a lot in passing, but it was one of the first that I actually, you know, listened to. I was super into jazz at the time (I still am), so I was immediately hooked on the way they combined funk tropes, jazz drumming, and black vocals with a heavy metal sound. It’s unfortunate that the “funk metal” emergence in the 90s was so short-lived, because it was fucking sick. Yeah, Living Colour released a few albums all the way up to 2017, but a lot of the passion and charisma of their earlier days is missing in their newer material.
So you can just imagine my level of excitement when I heard the first single of producer/mixer/guitarist Stevie D’s project, ‘Final Resting Place’, which just so happened to feature Corey Glover (who, if you didn’t know, is Living Colour’s vocalist). That song blew my god damn mind! And, as if that wasn’t enough for me, it wasn’t long before I got the promo package for Torn from the Pages in my email, so I’ve been busting out a listen regularly for the past two months or so. As a result, it’s safe to say I’m well-acquainted with what it’s all about musically.
While Torn from the Pages isn’t quite a heavy metal album, it sits somewhere on its border between hard rock. It’s actually pretty close in style to classic Living Colour, where it treads the line between the two, except this walks closer to the soul/hard rock side, whereas Living Colour walks closer to the heavy metal side. This stylistic similarity is largely because of Glover’s unmistakably juicy vocals, but the arrangements and delivery in some of the songs are also similar, the best examples being ‘Soul of Stone’ and ‘Your Time Has Run Out’.
Regardless of where it stands style-wise, Torn from the Pages has a ton of variety behind it. ‘Outta My Head’ delivers a southern shuffle, ‘Alone Again’ is slow-and-steady dixie/swing, and we even get a killer instrumental shred piece in the closer, ‘Faceplant’. Then there’s the obligatory ballad in ‘Haunted’, and ‘Final Resting Place’ has more of a gospel influence. Every track offers something very different to what else is on the album, so, despite a consistent feel to tie everything together, there’s a lot here for both the casual listener and music critic alike.
At a glance, I would think the best part of the album is the vocals, but that’s not true in the slightest. The vocals are definitely one of my favourites, but I like a lot of stuff about this record. Stevie D’s tasty guitarwork is as black as the vocals, and he lays down some really great riffs and solos in every track. Another thing I love is the fact that Stevie D actually enlisted real horn players to play the horn parts in all of the tracks, which adds a lot of richness to the whole thing. There’s a trombone lick that I especially love in the shuffle, ‘Outta My Head’, and the jack-off-all-trades ‘Now or Never’ has its fair share of sick guitars, tight horns, and powerful vocals.
The biggest reason that I don’t listen to much hard rock is the fact that there just seems to be something missing compared to heavy metal. For the most part, it’s watered down to me, and I always find myself wanting more. However, Stevie D and Corey Glover have solved this problem by dumping a bucket full of soulful passion all over Torn from the Pages, allowing it to be energetic, entertaining, and memorable. Fans of southern rock, hard rock, funk metal, blues, and everything in between will get a lot out of this album.
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