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After the breakup of Floor in 2004, Torche vocalist/guitarist Steve Brooks decided to carry on the thundering tradition of his former band, recruiting guitarist Juan Montoya (also formerly of Floor), drummer Rick Smith, and bassist Jonathan Nuñez. This lineup evolved the sonic template Brooks had created with Floor into a lush and more fully realized sound. In 2005, the Miami four-piece released their eponymous debut Torche on Robotic Empire, introducing the world to a new brand of doom/stoner metal that replaced the bleakness and despair typical of the genre with a more triumphant and anthemic sound: the heavy metal equivalent of Chariots of Fire. Combining detuned, droning guitars reminiscent of doom luminaries Earth and Sunn 0))) with soaring, harmonic vocals, Torche created a new take on the genre that is best described as "doom pop." After the album's release, the band began extensive cross-country touring, sharing bills with the Sword, Mouth of the Architect, Jesu, Isis, and Mogwai. In March of 2007, Torche released a remastered version of their self-titled album featuring the bonus track "Make Me Alive." In the summer of 2007, Torche released the beautifully packaged EP In Return on Robotic Empire, featuring a jacket designed by John Baizley of Baroness. Late in 2007, the bandmembers announced that they had finished recording their second album, Meanderthal, which was released in 2008. Later that year, guitarist Juan Montoya left the band due to creative differences. The remaining members carried on as a trio, touring with bands like Harvey Milk and Coheed and Cambria. In 2010, the band released the EP Songs for Singles on Hydrahead. Two years later, in 2012, Torche released the hook-laden and critically acclaimed Harmonicraft; it found the group topping numerous year-end lists. In 2014, Brooks reunited Floor with Anthony Vialon and Henry Wilson; the trio made their long-awaited return with Oblation. Early the following year, Torche's fourth studio long-player Restarter mined similar sonic territory as its predecessor, doubling down on the earworms without losing any muscularity. ~ Gregory Heaney