QUEENSRŸCHE frontman Todd La Torre has released the official music video for his solo song "Hellbound And Down". The clip, which was directed and filmed by Thomas Crane of killDevil Films, is a fiery visual that accompanies one of the heaviest tracks on La Torre's full-length debut, "Rejoice In The Suffering", which arrived on February 5 via Rat Pak Records. Todd's songwriting partner Craig Blackwell delivers a punishing guitar riff fronted by Todd singing and screaming as fans have not heard before.
Says Todd: "'Hellbound And Down' is about crossing a line and paying a price. Musically, it is an action-packed metal tune with relentless groove, varying vocal textures, and vocal range. This song once again showcases stellar guitar riffs and soloing by Craig Blackwell."
The idea for a solo album was always in the cards for Todd. With QUEENSRŸCHE tour dates postponed indefinitely, the world events offered Todd the opportunity to explore his ideas for the effort. Todd teamed up with Blackwell, alongside producer Chris "Zeuss" Harris, to create a diverse heavy metal album that draws influence from different styles. These styles will surprise fans who only know La Torre from his previous work with QUEENSRŸCHE or CRIMSON GLORY.
From the album's opening riffs of "Dogmata" to the vocal acrobatics that drive the album closer "Apology", it is apparent that La Torre has a true love of heavy metal. With Todd playing drums and recording the vocals for the album, songs like "Darkened Majesty" and "Critical Cynic" offer an inside look into his musical mind. Blackwell's guitar playing provides the perfect musical accents to La Torre's vocals. Todd even finds vocal wails not heard from him before as showcased on the title track and the punishing "Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall". The deluxe version of the album features three bonus tracks: "Fractured", "Set It Off" and "One By One".
In a recent interview with Anne Erickson of Audio Ink Radio, Todd stated about the differences in his songwriting approach for QUEENSRŸCHE and that for his solo project: "They're apples and oranges. They're totally separate things. I don't write guitars, really, in like a QUEENSRŸCHE way. That's not where I shine in QUEENSRŸCHE. I think my lyric writing and my vocal phrasing and delivery and that sort of thing, that's kind of my asset to the writing process for QUEENSRŸCHE music. I would never try to push this kind of style or sound into QUEENSRŸCHE music. I don't really write music — I mean, I co-write stuff with them, and I might have a guitar riff idea or something, but they're totally separate things, and I would never, never want to pollute the waters of QUEENSRŸCHE with what I'm doing."
He continued: "I think because I've been able to get this first [solo album] out, I think that my eagerness to do things with QUEENSRŸCHE definitely takes a backseat, because I have this other outlet to do those things. So, I feel less inclined to be, like, 'Oh, I need to scream here and show people what I can do on this.' I really want to just respect what QUEENSRŸCHE's sound is and not change. I don't want to change the style and sound of what QUEENSRŸCHE is and should be. I very much draw a line in the sand where, you know, I can experiment and try some things that might be fitting for a QUEENSRŸCHE song, but as far as pushing that on to them, I feel, because I got that done, I'm more relaxed doing the QUEENSRŸCHE stuff where I don't feel like I have to try to sneak in something heavier, because nobody's got to hear that from me. Now they get to hear a plethora of styles from me on this record."
"Rejoice In The Suffering" track listing:
03. Hellbound And Down
04. Darkened Majesty
05. Crossroads To Insanity
06. Critical Cynic
07. Rejoice In The Suffering
09. Vanguards Of The Dawn Wall
Bonus tracks (deluxe version only)
12. Set It Off
13. One By One
La Torre joined his first band BLACKWELL as the drummer, performing in high school talent shows and entering into the club rock music scene in Tampa Bay, Florida. In 2009, Todd was suggested to CRIMSON GLORY guitarist Jon Drenning by a mutual friend to help with some vocal rehearsals in preparation for a CRIMSON GLORY memorial concert. This would pave the way for more collaborations with the band, eventually joining as the band’s new permanent vocalist. La Torre was the lead singer for CRIMSON GLORY from late 2010 until resigned from the band in early 2013. In 2012, Todd became a household name in the metal world when he officially became the new lead vocalist of QUEENSRŸCHE. The band immediately began touring globally and started writing new material for the self-titled 2013 album "Queensrÿche". To date, QUEENSRŸCHE has released three studio albums with La Torre: "Queensrÿche", "Condition Hüman" (2015) and "The Verdict" (2019). Currently the band is writing new material for a fourth release for Century Media Records.