I got to tell you folks. In my opinion, a lot of the new releases that have been coming out post COVID have been phenomenal. My guess is that America finally got out of its “emo” phase just before lockdowns hit. Then you throw that mental health nightmare into the mix, and you have yourself some angry, aggressive new releases. And one of these releases just found its way into my inbox. I am talking about the new EP from California hardcore outfit, TORENA, called EVIL EYEZ! Right from the cover artwork, I knew I was going to like this one. And I was RIGHT!
Right from the opening chug riff, this song hit just right. Just moments after the rest of the band joins in, singer Julien Urias jumps right in with his strong, throaty vocals, thus demonstrating a full-blown assault on your auditory system. Aside from the heaviness, there is groove and some good breakdown action here. A very good way to open an album, if you ask me.
Next up is track two, STAND YOUR GROUND. Right from the opening snare hits, you know this is going to be one hell of a song, and it is. Packed with groovy guitar chugs from vocalist Julien and Dante Demons, this song is just as heavy as the first. With a slow breakdown and a stomp part at the end, this song just rocks.
Then comes, I’M STILL HERE. It’s fast and furious guitar riffs and snare hits solidify this song as a key player. Then the song keeps up the pace with a nice circle pit riff before an abrupt ending. All of that is packed into a minute and a half.
Next up is track four, SLAVE NO MORE. This is the best song on this release, in my opinion. It has a great opening riff, powerful vocals, and a solid rhythm section. Some added bass sludge during the interlude helped make the final ending crescendo even heavier. Then the added metal riffs and slowed ending added many layers of depth to this track. And finally, they close this release with the song TRIGGER. This is another standout track. It has all the elements of a classic hardcore banger up until the ending which fades into a reggae jam before ending,
All in all, this was an impressive EP. The artwork is awesome, the production and quality of the recording was excellent, the music was killer, and I hope to catch them this year if they go on tour out to the East Coast.