A Tortured Soul

by Kris Klassen
June 2009

Milwaukee's A Tortured Soul

Milwaukee's A Tortured Soul

Sometimes you find a band by accident. A band that you’re expecting nothing from but at the end of the night, you’re so happy you saw them. There is that initial moment of doubt when you say to yourself “do they really sound as good as I think they do?” I found such a band in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and they are called A TORTURED SOUL.

They formed in 2001 when old high school friends lead guitarist Nate Gorenc and bass player Stefan Bohl put together a group named REZ. They placed an ad in Uncle Bob’s music store (where they buy most of their equipment) and vocalist Rick Black answered it. With a change of name and the additions of Ryne Schultz on rhythm guitar and Eric Gnant on drums, ATS does the business every time they step on the stage.

They began their first breath of molten steel opening up for death metal bands such as Userper and Putrid Pile, only thirteen days after they had met. They were bound together by the love of an evil craft, and so they began challenging a dead Midwestern metal market with massive Halloween festivals. Bands from all over the Midwest played these shows and ATS began to build a name for itself as an old school metal sound with a thrash metal influence.

They refuse to compromise and have been playing for years without getting any respect from the big shots that run the labels and promotional companies. You will not see them on MTV and you won’t hear them on conventional radio, you have to seek them out. Their influences are easy to spot and if you are a fan of MERCYFUL FATE, JUDAS PRIEST, METALLICA or KING DIAMOND, you will definitely enjoy listening to their CD’s and live performances.

The band released their first disc in 2004 and “Tomorrows Door” stayed underground without much fanfare. Relying on a friend from Germany, black metal giant (Northern-Silence Records) formed a new label (Eyes Like Snow) for flagship artist ATS. In September 2007, “Kiss of the Thorn” was released.

The singer is trained in the lost art of very, very high vocals with an extreme range that will shock you. Searing guitar leads are the signature of Gorenc, and the rip your head off effect of bass player Bohls is what he does best. Gnant’s drumming is intense with his fast double bass attack and Shultz is the perfect compliment with his fine rhythm work. If you go to myspace.com/torturedsoulmusic you will find it loaded with many very cool features and after you watch their video “Kiss of the Thorn”, you will understand why I consider them very talented at what they do. If you are in charge of booking bands at a club, and are a fan of original metal music, this is the group for you. They are currently working on a landslide album for release in 2009/10 and the band in their absolute fury is taking no prisoners.

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