Not much is known about Torture Chain outside of the minimal bits and pieces gleaned from infrequent lo-fi releases. Like many of the greats within their subcategory, much of what Torture Chain does can be considered within the realm of black metal, but bends genre conventions to create a wholly original approach. Blasts are rare and, as a result, more venomous. Their plodding, classic heavy metal grooves sound like a death march. Torture Chain are pure evil, safely avoiding the campy and tired pitfalls that have befallen so-called “black metal” in the past decade-plus.

It’s been three long years since their last effort, the Mutilating Astral Entities LP, leading many to question the status of this revered project. Enter Wasting Syndrome, featuring vile cover art from Josh McAlear. It's sole member Torturer's latest offering, and the first to be offered in vinyl format via Darkest Heavy. Despite the fact that he (for lack of a better pronoun) has abandoned the cassette game for greener pastures (sort of; more in a second), don’t worry: Torturer hasn’t gone Hollywood. The new LP is more of the same downtrodden lo-fi vitriol that we’ve come to expect from the shadowy character: subtle melodies buried in black metal nods, death metal hatred and classic heavy metal grooves. If you’ve ever found yourself drawn to anything ranging from Darkthrone and Cirith Ungol to Bone Awl and Candlemass, you might want to pick this up.

The new LP, Wasting Syndrome, comes in two formats, the first being with the “Self Discovery” cassette only available to 100 lucky people. “Self Discovery” the track is not to be missed; it slithers from glacially-paced doom to unrelenting blasts to atonal atrocities with the greatest of ease, making for a diverse and varying ride through hell and beyond. Stream the new track below and order yours via Darkest Heavy.