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>>>   R e v i e w s   >>>   TÖRR "Kult ohně" / "Kladivo na čarodějnice"

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>>> JOHAN | 2007-08-31 >>>

TÖRR "Kult ohně" / "Kladivo na čarodějnice"

(1989 Supraphon)

The first official Törr release

After the successful cult demo "Witchhammer" from 1987, that catapulted Törr to the top of the Czech metal scene, the band got noticed by Mr. Petr Janda of Olympic fame and in January 1988 they entered his studio Propast, where the three - Vlastimil Henych (bass, vocals), Otakar Hereš (guitar, vocals) and Milan Háva (drums) recorded two songs for a single. The release was planned in Janda's Rockmapa, but due to known accusations published in communist newspapers the band was blacklisted in 1988. The single came out (along with the "Rockmapa 1" LP) in the spring of 1989 and it was a sell-out item at Rockfest in March, namely its metal subsidiary (Rockfests were in the Palace of Culture, while metalheads were located in the nearby Sportshall).

Törr offer two songs on the standalone debut - "Kladivo na čarodějnice" ("Witchhammer") had been well known by then, and a newer (as of 1989) track "Kult ohně" ("Cult of Fire"). "Kladivo na čarodějnice" starts with a solitary guitar, while Vlasta recites the famous lines by Brichta:
„V sobě má posedlej svět
nemíní se spokojit s málem
vybírá, pro majetek
koho obviní ze spolku s ďáblem...“
Inspiration in witch trials in Northern Morava in the second half of the 17-th century and its coverage in the same titled book by Václav Kaplický is obvious and those who saw the famous movie by Otakar Vávra feel the shivers down their spines. Brichta was in top form when he wrote the lyrics (as documented by lyrics for his very own Arakain) and "Kladivo na čarodějnice" is one of the best ones. His own band could hardly handle the lyrics, on the other hand the gloomy and evil image of Törr offered a genius framework for their presentation. The guitar is joined by the other instruments and the well known songs goes ahead. After the second verse the two frontmen exchange microphone and the rest of the song is sung by Ota. A relatively simple riffing by Ota offers a unique atmosphere and you can feel the influence of the early representatives of Black Metal - with Venom on top. "Kult ohně" on A-side (notice the first mentioned was actually presented as the B-side) is a different cup of tea. Music was composed by Vlasta this time, with words written by Vlasta and Ota together. The songs offers more complexity. All singing is done by Vlasta, he sounds the same actually ever since and let's say unmistakable. The last verse is more recited rather than sung. Musically there are two levels - one with easily remembered riffs in rock´n´roll rhythm, second dominated by Ota's soloing with high ripping tones. There are also choruses, without actual words, that add to the atmosphere.

The recording quality is neither perfect nor poor, it's simply up to the possibilities as of then. The Propast studio was famous then, but hardly had any experience with such music. It can be seen by vocals being too much in front, as well as the sound of guitar, which is slightly backgrounded, similarly to "Armageddon", with the exception of clean sounding solos. The cover was as the time desired, only Citron had the privilege of having their own single cover design, so Törr had to do with a neutral generic graphical nonsense with only the name of the band and songs added up.

Törr had one of their dreams fulfilled, as Vlasta also mentions in an interview published elsewhere.

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