Torvus Strengthens “The Innate Disease” of Death and Doom Through Cross-Contamination (Early Album Stream)
Like all good mad scientists, Virginia's Torvus isn't afraid to mix a few unstable elements in search of a truly potent elixir. Their sophomore full-length The Innate Disease infuses torturous death-tinged doom with the inspired melodicism of traditional doom: two strains often left uncombined. But here together in the roiling climate Torvus provides, they yield a novel approach to the slower side of extreme metal that's still oogh-worthy but, quite often, fucking jams to boot. As proof positive, we're streaming the entire album in full ahead of its Friday release.
The Innate Disease is, to be sure, a hefty album, clocking in at just over an hour. It's not a slog, though—it's more like a big stew that you get to savor for a long time, marinated with numerous influences and disciplines and brimming with tasty riffs to chew on all the way through.
Entirely self-produced and self-recorded, there's a live and unrefined sound to this: this rawness especially shines on "Ice," which is probably the best example of the 'fucking jams' aspect of the record: the gnarly, super-slow death here bounces and grooves with unholy furor. Though at times I think beefed-up production could really sharpen things up, if I could hear every note of "Ice" with crystal-clear precision, there's no way I'd feel so strongly about kicking over my coffee table.
Highlighting the power of their genre cocktail, my personal favorite track "Somber Dreams" opens with a blackened melodic riff, blastbeat and all, that somehow trades off with scornful doom passages and even some chord progressions backed by clean guitar to open up the structure. It wraps up its runtime with a rejuvenating return of that life-giving blastbeat, elevating heart rates and refocusing just in time for the thoroughly nasty follow-up track "Boda Seya." Longest track "Pallor Eyes" takes a similar tack, hiding fun twists and frills within a seemingly massive chunk of abhorrent filth: in several cases, a sudden bridge with clean guitar and choral-like vocals takes the mood from a cavernous stomp to proggy Cathedral-style doom. Even more strangely, the album closer "Worldly Relief" brings in a lead piano line, and I'll be damned if it doesn't kill. Delight blossoms within disgust, and we are all the more sicker for it.
The Innate Disease serves as a checkpoint of sorts for the band: several songs they'd demoed earlier return here, reworked into an ultimate form, along with some tracks that also made it onto an earlier split. This is essentially the definitive Torvus sound—for now. Darkened, grievous, and exultant, this massive offering only stokes my anticipation for what could come next.
From the band:
The Innate Disease is our second full length album, solidifying the three piece lineup that has been the core of the band since 2018. Torvus started with Bill & Joey meeting early on in high school and deciding to start a band that paid homage to their favorite Death & Doom Metal groups from the 80s-90s. After various lineup changes, Zak was eventually recruited as lead vocalist, before switching to bass & backing vocals. With this lineup, we started working on the material that would become 'The Innate Disease.' Delayed by the pandemic, we started recording the album in October 2020 and spent the following months mixing and mastering. The album was recorded and produced entirely by the band in Arlington, VA. All photography was handled by Albert Alisuag of Et Mors, and the album cover was designed by Zak.
The Innate Disease will be self-released by the band on February 27th via their Bandcamp page.