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Torture Garden


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Audio CD, August 19, 1993
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$19.99 $9.39
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 19, 1993)
  • Label: Shimmy Disc
  • ASIN: B0000010M7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284,639 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By roosty@primus.com.au on October 10, 1999
Format: Audio CD
This 2 pack album, called Black Box, is quite an impressive album. Torture Garden is lots of noisy saxophone playing to dizzying intricate time changes. Leng T'che is Naked City playing through an amazingly heavy and torturous set of music. The artwork to this cd kind of tells the story of the music, a photo set of a man going through horrendous torture in 1905 in Japan. All the while he is being dosed with opium to keep him alive, and all through the horrible torture, the man has a haunting smile on his face. If you are into Zorns heavier, noisier stuff, go for this. If you prefer the lighter jazzy stuff, stick to The Bribe and Naked City.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jack C_01 on February 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Imagine Miles Davis collaborating with Napalm Death to make an album. Impossible? Well that's how strange Naked City's music is, and it's definitely not something anyone could listen to and like. Bands such as Cynic and Atheist are labelled jazz-death metal, but this is true jazz-grind, it's like Zorn and his chums want to play grindcore, but they've got a saxophone to do it with, so that's exactly what they do, play grindcore with a saxophone. The shrieks of Yamatsuka Eye of the Boredoms on vocals are simply not human, and they add to the complete freakiness of the whole thing. This just isn't easy-going music, there are time signature changes throughout and really they take every element of catchy easy-listening music and turn it on its head to make this stunning mess.

It's so impossible to describe the style of music on display here, and if you hear a couple of odd tracks off the album, you'll most likely dismiss it as mindless noise. It needs to be listened to in full as a conceptual piece. So who is likely to enjoy this? It isn't something anyone can like, but there are a few groups of people I could recommend this to. If you've heard and liked any sort of experimental jazz in the past you might like this, and coming from the opposite direction, if you like any grindcore such as Napalm Death or Birdflesh, this might be for you. Lastly, if you are a fan of any of Mike Patton's work, especially Fantômas, then you need to see where some of his inspiration comes from. It's strange, but you've got to try it to love it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Anonymous on August 10, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Incredibly neurotic arrangements - noisy, crazy, garbled Japanese vocals courtesy of Eye Yamagata, ex of the Boredoms; surgical sax riffs slicing gray matter in pulsating peels by John Zorn; and a tsunamic disaster area of a backing band with sparkling pools of serene melody to counterpoint the rabid chaos of this album. This is what Erich Zann would sound like if he played the sax. "Normals" for whom I've played this CD have despised it, calling it worse than a lawnmower vasectomy. It is indeed ear torture, yet it is so beautifully composed and precisely implemented that a work a "mad genius" is it's only fitting description. Truly a rare grotesque jewel. Cool S&M photos inside too. Don't leave for a party without it.
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By Conscious Mon on January 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
I remember first hearing about this album back in my "thrash/grind/death metal" days circa '89-'90. I got into John Zorn as well through listening to this, but at the time I was pretty much a metalhead and at the time of this release bands like Sepultura, Slayer, Obituary and Nuclear Assault were among my favs. "Torture Garden" can definitely be categorized as "death metal" but it would also weirdly fit under avant garde, jazz, lounge and hardcore! I loved this album for it's sheer NOISE level, Zorn's horn is the same as a shrieking death metal vocalist, in this outing Boredom's frontman Y. Eye doing the shreds! I can't say I was too thrilled to find out that John Zorn, the man responsible for the madness here, was actually on the downtown avant garde jazz Knitting Factory scene...at that time that was not me att all, those guys were lame! I later expanded my horizens however and "got it" but in 1990 it was metal and this is a piece of work thjat deserves a listen if you at all consider yourself into "metal." Loud music is more like it as any fan of punk or hardcore or grindsore or whatever would raise an eyebrow and take notice. This is certainly an almost parody of bands like Napalm Death who started the whole 40 second blast of noise, but at the same time Zorn and Co. are dead serious with it. Zorn has gone onto to do numerous projects with former Napalm and grind alumni, and it is no secret that Zorn is a huge admirer of those bands and grind in general. For the people that just don't get it...well you probably never got Napalm Death or Slayer or even Miles Davis or Herbie Hancock for that matter. A definite must for purveyors of the strange and loud.
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