If you're a hip hop fan looking for an album full of happiness, positivity, and glee, Tornts' "Hells Burn" is something of the opposite in fact. Since this Aussie's debut album in 2003, "Adding Insult to Injury" and following up with 'Decimation Recordings" in 2006, Tornts has recognized himself as a hardcore rapper who has attempted to go well beyond the comfort zones of your everyday hip hop audience.
From the get go, you know you're in for something unlike other hip hop tracks you've heard before. Tornts' horrorcore rap style goes beyond the realm of relief as you are immediately confronted by his harsh lyricism and constant yelling which he refers to as rapping. His rather sinister character is enhanced by morbid tracks such as "Flies on Ya Corpse," featuring 750 Rebels, which begins with the sounds of flies hovering around a dead body. Tornts goes into detail about the need for revenge and the madness that ensues within as he says,
"Venomous, victorious vulture
Wearing black like a Viet Cong soldier
Sharpen my claws on the bones of your first born infant
Swag on your gene pool
"Hells Burn" is filled with this type of constant obsession with death and vengeance as the workings of this maniacal brain develops throughout the album. Simple chimes, clanking noises, and heavy bass are heard throughout "Dead or Alive" as Tornts compares the sounds to those found in an asylum while "Trap Door," begins with cringing screams and ominous beat reminiscent of those found in horror flicks. The odd noises continue as the sounds of what appears to be a slaughtered pig and knives reverberate throughout the track. Tornts yells out about the Antichrist and demonic entities thriving in the outside world and vouches to never leave his inside safe haven. Paranoid of his surroundings, it just sounds as though agoraphobic Tornts just needs to get out a little more often.
Beyond the evils and imaginative malevolence that has consumed Tornts world, he is able to come back to reality while proving to other emcees that his music is worth listening to. High pitched strings commence "When It's Said and Done" as Tornts lets his competition know that "when it's said it done, my recordings will tear you apart." As electronic, video game-like sounds begin "Pay the Price" featuring emcee Diem, Tornts once again warns other emcees to leave the rap game as he says, "Don't try to speak no more, don't record."
While Tornts takes pride in his delusional world of immorality and seeks retaliation with his enemies, the rare occasions in "Hells Burn" show us another side of this emcee and his own personal struggles with life. As sounds of cars zoom by in "The Lost Highway," Tornts professes:
"The tides are slipping
Maybe I'll be headed for a wreck
Embarking on an ending like the Batavia...
Fuck the music
I'll listen to the deafening wind
Through the wound down glass
It's always colder
Ready to bubble in hell's soda?
Future, present, past
The bastards are asking
'Aren't we going a bit fast?'
The lost highway only has one lane
You can't overtake and pass
'Cause you can't fuckin' see what's coming at ya
Before it's all too late
Like an RPG to a helicopter gunner
Blown out the clouds"
"Rank Tale" is yet another track that further explores the truth about Tornts' character as he introduces the slightest bit of humor amidst an album full of dreadfulness. Tornts unveils a day in his life full of drinking and hangovers as he unexpectedly realizes that he has "drunk dialed" someone, soon regretting his hours of fun. With all this in mind, he faces the truth and grasps the idea that he can only blame himself for his mistakes as he says, "Torntski, you've only got yourself to blame."
"Hells Burn" is nothing but filth and grime from beginning the end. Tornts has taken it to the next level as he has made his mark on the rap scene with his ruthless lyrics while remaining unashamed about his diabolic references. Perhaps Tornts isn't for the faint at heart with his violent, almost masochistic rhymes, but with his defined lyrics and abilities to drop a strong sixteen, indeed shows that this Aussie has proven his worth. His profound and insightful lyrics go beyond the skill set of an amateur emcee as his storytelling talents describe even more than one would hope for. Although tracks surrounding the Antichrist and the devil aren't necessarily up my alley, it is still apparent that Tornts is an emcee in his own category that isn't afraid to tell it like it is.
Music Vibes: 6 of 10 Lyric Vibes: 7 of 10 TOTAL Vibes: 6.5 of 10
Originally posted: January 27, 2009