Todd La Torre - Rejoice In The Suffering review


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Band: Todd La Torre
Album: Rejoice In The Suffering
Release date: February 2021

01. Dogmata
02. Pretenders
03. Hellbound And Down
04. Darkened Majesty
05. Crossroads To Insanity
06. Critical Cynic
07. Rejoice In The Suffering [feat. Jordan Ziff]
08. Vexed
09. Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall
10. Apology
11. Fractured [deluxe edition bonus]
12. Set It Off [deluxe edition bonus]
13. One By One [feat. Al Nunn] [deluxe edition bonus]

The voice of Queensrÿche of the last decade used the pandemic lockdowns to write and record a solo album, teaming up with longtime friend and collaborator Craig Blackwell, and producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris. The result is a heavy metal LP that draws various influences and it is quite a surprising one in many aspects.

The writing and recording process of Rejoice In The Suffering began in March last year, with the exception of the title track and a few riffs in other songs. Everything was written just for this record and nothing for Queensrÿche. So it makes a lot of sense that it sounds almost nothing like Queensrÿche.

With Todd La Torre being a solo project, it seems that Todd himself was under no pressure to stay in the confines of a certain style or sound. In a way, it brings to mind what Rob Halford did with Fight right after he left Judas Priest. This is a heavy metal album with an influence from thrash on it - the clever, progressive, groovy, Nevermore-ish type of thrash - and some '80s U.S. power metal leanings in the vein of Sanctuary. I guess this Nevermore / Sanctuary feeling I get is also reinforced by the fact that Todd often reminds me a bit of Warrel Dane at times.

The chorus of "Darkened Majesty" is the first instance - and one of the very few - where I can hear the familiar La Torre. And it is the album's fourth track! Rejoice In The Suffering is an opportunity for him to showcase the wide range of vocal ability he possesses. He clearly challenges himself in terms of what he has done in the past, and shows different aspects of his voice that most people, including myself, didn't know he had.

But this album is not only Todd. The fast riffing of "Dogmata" and the modern-sounding groove of "Pretenders" introduce a competent guitar player, Craig Blackwell. His solos make a point and there are also some deviations from the norm like that bluesy kind of outro on "Crossroads To Insanity". The acoustic guitar intro of "Vexed" that transforms into an energetic track afterwards - and has a very memorable chorus - is a standout cut. The single "Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall" is all fired-up and powerful. And then the closer, "Apology", is a very doomy song that is about La Torre's father who died by suicide in 2016. There is also a growl there in the beginning of that song, in contrast to the very high notes he hits towards the end of it. But it is not the only growl on the record; one of the extra tracks, "One By One", is for the most part a melodic death metal tune.

Rejoice In The Suffering feels like it was made from fans of heavy metal and is addressed to fans of heavy metal. It has good songs and sounds like the record that two friends never got to make in their 20s, only through a more mature filter. If you like your heavy metal to be aggressive, give this one a go.

"Mirror, mirror on the wall, tell me
Who's the twisted, sickest of them all"


Written on 22.03.2021 by Only way to feel the noise is when it's good and loud!


Comments: 5   Visited by: 65 users
22.03.2021 - 14:32

Nice review. I love this album- going into it I didn't expect too much from a La Torre solo album but this sounds like a fully realised band effort
22.03.2021 - 18:08
Thrashier than I expected it to be.
Serenity is no longer wishing you had a different past.

2021 goodies
29.03.2021 - 21:27

I really like the way he handles the old ryche songs live, and also the albums are decent and enjoyable.... will listen to this for sure.
29.03.2021 - 21:38
Written by TenebrisAlas on 29.03.2021 at 21:27

I really like the way he handles the old ryche songs live, and also the albums are decent and enjoyable.... will listen to this for sure.

I agree, he is excellent live and he also makes the new songs sound better than they actually are. This album is going to be a pleasant surprise for you, I think.
29.03.2021 - 23:18

Wow, holy...todd ! guitarwork is great, melodies are cool, and the vocals are also blazing !!! and like and old wine lover i would wonder, do I taste a hint of Zach Stevens sometimes, or just wishful thinking? thanks nikarg !

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