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With the binds of global touring on hold and self-isolation in full effect, musicians are once again unchained from their normal routines and ready to create without boundaries. Thankfully, many of my favorite artists have been dusting off those dream projects that have been locked away for years and getting back to work.

Todd La Torre’s tremendous debut solo release, Rejoice in Suffering hearkens to the days of unapologetically raw, head-thrashing, Heavy Metal. Teaming up with longtime musical collaborator and guitarist, Craig Blackwell, and polished by producer, Chris “Zeuss” Harris, Rejoice in Suffering has the explosive enthusiasm of friends cranking up the decibels and trading riffs while surrounded by their favorite albums. La Torre not only successfully showcases his impressive vocal abilities on each and every track but also his often overlooked skill behind the drum kit. Alongside glory projects like Rob Halford’s Fight or Bruce Dickinson’s Tyranny of Souls, it is refreshing to hear an unrestrained La Torre write to his own volition without the confines of expectation.

Created with “the goal of writing songs they wanted to hear”, every track on the album is an unquestionable homage of metallic devotion. It's quite literally a track-by-track ode to those worn patches on every hesher’s battle vest. Opening tracks “Dogmata” and “Pretenders” answers the question: What would have Halford’s Fight sounded like if La Torre took the reigns? Goddamn glorious, that’s what. “Hellbound and Down” and “Rejoice in the Suffering” ventures into Groove Metal territory as an unapologetic homage to early Pantera and their ilk. “Vanguards of the Dawn Wall”, the most ferocious track on the album, is right at home with 90’s Testament, complete with call-and-response vocal brutality and a riff so irresistibly catchy I picked up my guitar halfway through my first listen just to learn it. The album closes with “Apology”, an emotionally powerful, 6 minute epic bringing La Torre full circle into Queensrÿche territory while pulling out every weapon in his vocal arsenal, along with Blackwell’s formidable guitar work, to reach right into your chest and grasp at your heart.

When Todd La Torre first burst into the spotlight as lead singer for Crimson Glory back in 2010,  there was little doubt that he was destined for much broader horizons. And after 8 years fronting the critically-acclaimed, Queensrÿche, La Torre has long since cemented himself as one of Modern Metal’s most formidable talents.

Rejoice in Suffering is a culmination of discipline and melodic aggression from one of Metal’s most devoted disciples. It is a strong release that deserves attention from not just Queensrÿche fans the world over,  but everyone who’s ever woken up with a sore neck after a night of thrashing.


Be well and keep rocking!   Hunnypot Approved!     Overall Rating:  9.3 out of 10

Artist:  Todd LaTorre    AlbumRejoice In The Suffering  Release Date: February 5th, 2021,   Label:  Rat Pak Records

Raul Soria Jr.

Photojournalist - Portland

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