Cheshire quintet, This is Turin, have been bludgeoning audiences since 2013 with a slew of EPs and standalone singles, but their discography boasts only one full-length album. This year is no different, in that they have another EP to deliver and more sonic brutality to unleash, but this time Thy Art is Murder frontman, CJ McMahon, appears as a guest collaborator and the band seem determined to squeeze as much of the extreme metal spectrum into their sound as if gathering survival resources for the coming apocalypse.
It goes without saying that the audio assault will give you a nosebleed and produce a feeling of vertigo if you’ve not eaten before strapping your headphones on for opening track, ‘Misery’. Fans of the latest Vexed album will find a lot to like here, yet the heaviest moments are more in the brutal death metal category like Deeds of Flesh and Suffocation but with an emphasis on Meshuggah’s grinding downstrokes and Gojira’s upward string scrapes. It may sound like a recipe for overproduced type-writer drums and Pro-Tools wizardry, but This is Turin are too heavy to invite accusations of studio enhancement. You don’t question the methods when the double-kick drums sound like machine guns and the guitars shake the ground like man-made earth tremors.
The band are happy to include an element of black metal posturing in their music, but the chugging guitars and technical tremolo riffs are more Decapitated than Dark Funeral. Listen to the fretwork on ‘Absolution’ and you’ll feel your ear lobes shudder at the awesome power of the fast alt-picking guitars. The vocals will make your eyes water like a sudden exposure to a below freezing temperature when you step outside into an unexpected wind chill. Black Dahlia Murder come to mind, but so do Kataklysm in the way they round off their blast beats and rapid rhythms with an element of head-spinning grooves.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of T.U.R.I.N is the extravagant melodeath bludgeon of closing track, ‘Excommunicate’, which mixes Heartwork-era Carcass with the carnage of vintage Carnifex and delivers a vitriolic sermon against the perceived heartlessness of the covenant between man and God. It’s easily the darkest cut on the EP but one that never loses its ability to burrow into your skull or free your nerves from the tightest of compressions.
In an EP of many twists and turns, the collaboration with CJ McMahon on ‘Misery’ takes the top prize for the way it slams into a roaring breakdown like a person writhing free of a snake gripped around their neck and stamping on its body to make sure it has no chance of getting up again. One can only imagine the violence this will awaken in the pit when they play this to a live audience. It might be worth inserting a teeth guard in your mouth to stop yourself from biting your tongue.
They may have one of the strangest names in extreme metal, but This is Turin are a serious force in England’s underground. Let’s hope they can deliver their sophomore album before their ten-year anniversary approaches.
Release Date: 31/03/2021
Record Label: Self Released
Standout track: Misery (feat. CJ McMahon)
Suggested Further Listening: Decapitated – Carnival is Forever (2011), Carnifex – Slow Death (2016), Black Dahlia Murder – Miasma (2005)