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Torman Maxt (USA)
Overall View


1999 - "Just Talking About the Universe... So Far" (39 min, 'Mars Hill')

2001 - "The Foolishness of God" (54 min, 'Mars Hill')

Torman Maxt web-site:

1999 - "Just Talking About the Universe... So Far" (39 min, 'Mars Hill')


1. Riders of the Cosmic Circuit 4:21

2. Summer 4:44

3. The Requiem 3:38

4. The Narrow Road 4:16

5. Life Sketches 1: Darkness 3:00

6. Mary 4:25

7. Ancient 120 4:43

8. Palace of Desire 3:57

9. Flowers 3:01

10. Life Sketches 2: Morning 2:27 (inst.)

All songs written, arranged, & produced by Torman Maxt.

Line-up (tracks 1-7):

Tony Massaro - guitars, vocals

Dominic Massaro - basses, backing vocals

Vincent Massaro - drums, backing vocals

Martin De Bourge - lead & backing vocals

Guest musician: 

Chris Fudurich - keyboards

Recorded by Tony Massaro & Chris Fudurich

at "Dino M-II" & "Sideways" studios, CA.

Mixed by Tony Massaro & Jim Morris

at "Morrisound" studios, FL.

Mastered by Doug Doyle

at "Digital Mothers Mastering", CA. 

Prologue. So far, there are two full-length albums in the arsenal of California's Prog-Metal band Torman Maxt. I haven't heard their music until now.

The Album. First off, it needs to be said that Torman Maxt presents a rather original brand of Prog-Metal, as the structures of all of the songs on the album are mostly based on the classical acoustic guitar passages, - often even in those parts where there are heavy 'metallic' riffs playing a prominent role. Actually, each of the album's tracks consist of contrasting interchanges of mid-tempo to fast Prog-Metal arrangements and slow to mid-tempo Art-Rock-ish ones. Especially impressive are those parts in which heavy soloing riffs work rapidly, whereas all of the basic arrangements go temperately. Half of the album's songs represent genuine Classic Prog-Metal, full of complex and diverse instrumental and vocal arrangements, sudden changes in tempos and musical directions in general; blistering solos and interplay between electric and acoustic guitars, and both at the rhythm-section as well. These songs are: Summer, The Requiem, Ancient 120, Palace of Desire, and Flowers (tracks 2, 3, 7, 8, & 9). Ancient 120 - the only track on the album that contains an excellent keyboard solo. Apart from all of the other essential progressive ingredients, it has a rich symphonic sound and a tense and dramatic overall atmosphere. So it's an absolute winner. The remaining five tracks, including the only instrumental, Life Sketches 2: Morning, represents Neo Prog-Metal. Well, while the arrangements of songs aren't too extensive and diverse, all of them were created within the framework of a unified stylistics, typical for this album as a whole. In this respect, it's an appropriate time to repeat that the structures of the music of Torman Maxt are rather original. They're free of any of the cliches that are so widespread among traditional Neo Prog-Metal acts, including such popular bands as Symphony X, Stratovarius, Rhapsody, etc. Finally, here are a couple of closing remarks. Apart from very tasteful and diverse vocals by Martin DeBourge, there are lots of excellent backing vocals and even choruses on the album. Although I am almost certain that all of the band members sing on the album, the booklet and the back sleeve of the CD are silent regarding backing vocals and a flautist, who played on Flowers.

VM. December 17, 2001

2001 - "The Foolishness of God" (54 min, 'Mars Hill')


1. Vanity Explored 4:54

2. Ghost Town 3:15

3. City of Man 5:15

4. The Stage 3:24

5. Space And Time 5:06

6. Off This Planet 2:13 (inst.)

7. The China Song 6:49

8. 40 Days 3:59

9. Life Sketches III: Sin 1:43

10. Silence Isn't Gold 3:34

11. Life Sketches IV: Eternity 2:45 (inst.)

12. The Foolishness of God 10:46

All songs written  & arranged by Torman Maxt.

Produced by Tony Massaro.


Tony Massaro - guitar, vocals

Dominic Massaro - bass 

Vincent Massaro - drums 

Recorded & mixed

by Chris Fudurich & Tony Massaro

at "Mars Hill" studio, Costa Mesa, CA.

Mastered at "Digital Brothers", Costa Mesa.

Prologue. And then there were three - the Three being blood brothers. The tree of their new musical fruits-ideas is "The Foolishness of God", who raised the wood of two trees (of Good and Evil) that the human beings lost their way in - once and forever. Well, so far, there also are only two trees grown in the creative garden of the band. I'll try my best to help you Prog-lovers, the brave voyagers to the virtual depths of the micro-world, so you won't lose your way in Torman Maxt's creative garden of two trees. Note: all of the vocal parts of both of the Torman Maxt albums were written by Tony Massaro.

The Album. Despite the fact that, at least instrumentally, "The Foolishness" was created within the band's original stylistics, the basis of which was laid on "The Universe", on the whole however, it sounds a bit simpler than the debut album. Actually, City of Man (track 3) is the only Classic Prog-Metal song on the album. All of the other tracks on "The Foolishness…" represent Neo Prog-Metal of rather a high quality, though the band's original stylistics is now slightly "compromised" by Tony Massaro's lead vocal, which often sounds not unlike Ozzy's. As for backing vocals, they're as good here as on "The Universe".

VM. December 18, 2001

Overall summary.
Frankly, it would be much better if "The Foolishness of God" would be the debut Torman Maxt album. Then the excellent "Just Talking About the Universe… So Far" would be viewed as a logical (progressive) development of the band. Unfortunately, in reality, "The Foolishness…" is simpler than "The Universe". I don't know why the band took a step backward instead of moving forward: they'd better just turn back to look at their debut album. I wish Torman Maxt would learn a right lesson from their previous creation and be at least back to form with the next album. I highly recommend the debut Torman Maxt album to all those into Prog-Metal and most of the Art-Rock lovers as well. As for the second one, most of the Neo Metal-heads, at least, should find it a winning album.

VM. December 18, 2001


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