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Cleveland metal quartet Torne can play. Especially drummer Kevin Heiss, who fires off double-bass rolls like he's shooting an A-10 Gatling gun. But songwriters they ain't, and The Depression is way less than the sum of its parts. In fact, it's by-the-numbers metal, with absolutely nothing to say. Lead-off cut "Stoneman" is mechanical brute-metal, the first in a series of angry-dude phlegmy complaints about pain, loss, rage, stress, hate, and paranoia — all phrased in exactly those terms over a steady march of start-stop riffage. Whether he's roaring, fast-talk rapping, or copping flat grunge vocals, Matt Demko settles for convenient combinations of words like "I remember what you said/When you left me for dead." Live, the band may roll like a bulldozer, but this album is stuck in the muck.

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