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The progressive metal band TORMAN MAXT has always been three brothers: Tony, Vincent and Dominic Massaro. Originally hailing from Ft Myers, Florida, the trio made the cross country move to Los Angeles, California where they recorded several demos before meeting vocalist Martin DeBourge. After recording and releasing their debut album titled "Just Talking About the Universe... So Far", TORMAN MAXT performed extensively at local Hollywood clubs and throughout Southern California. The band's sound has been compared to progressive rock greats like RUSH, DREAM THEATER, QUEENSRYCHE & YESwhile still reminding rock fans of their other main influences BLACK SABBATH and LED ZEPPELIN.

For their second album "The Foolishness of God", Tony Massaro began to handle all of the vocal duties in addition to his role as guitarist and song writer. Together with brothers Vincent and Dominic, they have been playing since they were teenagers. This has created a tightness and unity that
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The Problem of Pain - Part 2The Problem of Pain - Part 2
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Problem of Pain: Part 1Problem of Pain: Part 1
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Just Talking About the Universe So FarJust Talking About the Universe So Far
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Problem of Pain 2 by Torman Maxt (2013-05-04)Problem of Pain 2 by Torman Maxt (2013-05-04)
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TORMAN MAXT Discography

TORMAN MAXT albums / top albums

.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Just Talking About the Universe... So Far
Progressive Metal 1994
.. Album Cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Foolishness of God
Progressive Metal 2001
.. Album Cover 1.54 | 10 ratings
The Problem of Pain (Part 1)
Progressive Metal 2007
.. Album Cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
The Problem of Pain: Part 2
Progressive Metal 2010

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TORMAN MAXT The Problem of Pain (Part 1)

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Torman Maxt's The Problem of Pain: Part 1? Universally panned and loathed in the prog community so naturally I had to taste and see.

Immediately I noted the guitars don't have enough power to blow the fluff off a peanut. The vocals sound processed and high pitched. The singing is dreadful especially when they are not processed such as on 'Job's Song.' The riffs are so forgettable though at times they have promise only to be ruined by terrible, terrible production.

The appalling drums sounds like he is banging an old oil drum in an aeroplane hanger. I'm sure Lars used his sound for the "St Anger" album, that snare, which is only marginally worse than this album.

Shocking lyrics. I love reading The Bible but these songs based on Job do not do it justice. Mixed feelings, as I like the themes but they are sung with a weird up beat tempo as if it's a happy book and it is exactly the opposite as Job undergoes horrific trials.

'The Angel's First Song' is the slow one but painfully so with boring structure and wailing vox. At this point I was ready to give up. Next is 'Satan's First Song' has a decent melody but the singing kills it. The lead guitar attempts to be dark but is too tinny to exude any power. The production is so lo fi it is stunning this got off the ground. The instrumental section of psychedelic twinges is ridiculous. It changes to a grinding riff with a cool sound but then moves to the tinny drums and bass again.

Next is 'Job's Initial Shock' with a punky sound and abysmal vocals send it off to the abyss. It is short though. Next is another boring melody sounding similar to the other songs, in fact I can't even tell the difference so let's move on. 'Job's Commitment' sounds like an 80s Ace Frehley riff but not as powerful. The melody locks in then more whining pitchy vocals and he sounds like he is out of tune.

Next, 'The Angel's Second Song' with interesting opening, creepy synth and ethereal atmospheres. This is far more promising, and without vocals is the best so far. Then the drums come in and some chanting vocals, as bad as the rest. The lyrics are okay but terribly sung so nobody cares.

'Satan's Second Song' has a nice little guitar riff and waves crashing. The lyrics are Biblical; "Yes Job does love you, But not without a cause, Sound mind and body, Help him to cope with loss". Then the same melody as previous crunches in though the guitars are heavier and this is certainly a classy rocker. 'Job's Second Response' sounds like the drums of Ace Frehley's 'Wipeout'; did he release some musicians for this album? The melody comes in and it's exactly the same as other songs. This is getting very tiring now. There is an interesting clean guitar motif, with some dangblasted vocals that can't find a note.

'Job's Wife' is more of the same, pathetic vocals, boring melody and terrible infantile lead guitar work. Then it ends with a repetitive riff that just goes on and on and on without variation. The last song is an instrumental that is okay but it is too late to save a train wreck when the train is already off the rails.

Well, folks believe the hype. This is perhaps as bad as it gets. "Love Beach" may have been bad but at least it has decent production and one good song. Torman Maxt are infamous for producing one of the worst albums, that is mercifully free as a download, and if you are like me you will want to hear this to see if all of us reviewers are just exaggerating. No, I assure you, we are not; this stinks like yesterday's stinking nappies.

TORMAN MAXT The Problem of Pain (Part 1)

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
(Intended for ProgArchives readers)

Oh boy

Here we have a classic album - classic as the classic love to hate it album on PA. Torman Maxt is a name that elicits no sympathy for classic Archivers. A few months after the band's third studio album, The Problem of Pain Part 1, was released, the band was a featured artist on the ProgArchives homepage. When a negative review was published of the album, the band wasn't too happy and even asked to have the review removed while they were featured on the site, creating quite the controversy at the time. The band has been ridiculed and bashed in reviews and on the forum. But one may ask - are these simply reviews responding to insults received or some other personal message? I'd be safe to say no, no they are not.

The album starts out on a rather positive note, with a somewhat pleasant, but overall quite simple overture, full of textbook theory tricks with counterpoint and harmony. The instrumentation was overall rather simplistic, which so far wasn't a bad thing. However, once the album kicked in with 'Job's Song,' I knew where these reviewers were coming from. The vocals are amateurish, shrill, and just barely listenable. They warble in the upper registers without a cause, grating on my eardrums and seemingly tainting the music. The compositions only begin to deteriorate at this point. They begin to become more amateurish, desperately attempting to be progressive, and have no continuity or symmetry at all. Songs end, begin, and end again within the same track, hardly trying to act like a cohesive piece of music. And again - those melodies! Indeed the problem of pain is this music - causing pain for listeners across the world.

And then, the concept. Oh, the humanity! The album was originally intended to be the band's very own 2112, not a tribute, but more a desperate attempt to make a killer concept album (even though 2112 isn't a concept album - perhaps that's where they went wrong ;-). The band chose the concept of copying the biblical book of Job, where Job is trying to find just what the title implies - the reason for pain and suffering in the world. Well they took that concept, put it into a blender, poured out a heap of peppy upbeat Christian themes, and called it a concept. The album immediately starts out with an obvious Christian overtone (made truly atrocious by the terrible vocals). The lyrics, who do somewhat stay attuned to the lose concept, sadly do not match the feel of the music at all. One part of a concept album, as even their non-conceptual influence album displays wonderfully, is the music! It is a concept album of music anyway. To write an adequate concept album one element must be conceptual music, following the feels, storyline, atmosphere, emotions, and whatnot of the main character or story. However, Torman Maxt thought it would be better to focus on peppy, upbeat, happy themes and ditch any attempt to attach the musical themes to the lyrical themes.

Not only are the lyrics overall quite weak (which is ironic compared to their incredible lyricist influence Neil Peart), but the musicality of the album, as I have said, only decreases as the album goes on. The music lacks direction, emotion, or drive at any given point on the album. It is apparent that the band is much more occupied with making their music seem progressive, with random compositional theme shifts, songs within songs within songs with no apparent reason, and a wonton use of amateur theory tricks to try to make the music seem more professional or mature. Even with the use of counterpoint and six different instruments playing simultaneously, the music emits a terribly amateur vibe. In the end, the band displays their incredible skill at making bland and uninviting music.

When I look for new music, I rarely blind-buy or download music that I know is bad or doesn't sound very good. Therefore my music collection is, in my opinion, mostly 'good' music. I don't happen upon albums like this very often. However, I couldn't resist trying this infamous album in PA history out. A free download, it was even more irresistible. However, with even my first listen, I could see that the flack that this album received was all but hot air. This album is quite possibly one of the worst albums in PA history. The terribly amateur music, the atrocious and unbearable vocals, and the simplistic and pathetic lyrical concept make this album quite... well' bad. I like to consider myself a rather generous rater, but this album is certainly an exception. 1 star.

TORMAN MAXT The Problem of Pain: Part 2

Album · 2010 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Torman Maxt's The Problem of Pain: Part 1 from 2007 was not my favorite album, to say the very least. The generally uninspired compositions, amateur musicianship, and corny lyrics didn't leave the best impression for what part two may have in store. Thankfully, Torman Maxt has improved significantly over the last three years - not only as musicians, but also as songwriters and lyricists. The Problem of Pain: Part 2 seldom exceeds above average, but it's a solid heavy prog rock/metal album that fans of the genre will most likely enjoy. If you weren't exactly blown away by part one, I wouldn't completely dismiss this effort just yet - Torman Maxt has plenty to offer this time around.

The band still plays a style of progressive rock/metal with influences from acts like Rush and King's X, but also with touches of AOR scattered throughout. The atmosphere is generally light and positive, with very few dark and heavy sections. If you're looking for a prog metal concept album that will evoke dark emotions (think bands like Pain of Salvation or Opeth), definitely look elsewhere. Although the lyrics deal with a fairly dark section of the Bible, the music seldom creates a haunting atmosphere. This can be problematic at times (the album can feel a bit "samey" to me), but the compositions are still generally strong. The musicianship is also much stronger this time around - it's clear that Torman Maxt has increased their chops over the last three years. The vocals from Tony Massaro are very much an acquired taste (I don't enjoy them very much), but I could see some people enjoying his Geddy Lee-inspired singing. His voice just sounds too frail for my taste most of the time. The production is also pretty thin and occasionally lacks power, though it still sounds pretty professional.

The Problem of Pain: Part 2 isn't a progressive rock masterpiece or anything like that, but it's a solid album that's worth a look from most of the community. The vocals and lyrics do test my patience occasionally, but it may be worth looking past for some quality retro-oriented progressive rock/metal. 3 stars are deserved here - this is probably the best offering Torman Maxt has to date.

TORMAN MAXT The Problem of Pain (Part 1)

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
The third album from American Christian progressive hard rock band Torman Maxt, called The Problem of Pain, Part 1 is an album that doesn't get a whole lot of love from reviewers, and after hearing it, it's not hard to understand why. This album is severely flawed in almost every sense of the word, from a lyrical and musical perspective.

Usually when an album gets such flak from fellow reviewers, I try to avoid reviewing it. The last thing that a young band, such as Torman Maxt, wants to hear is that people with a passion for music dislike their album in such an immense way. As evidenced by the overwhelming amount of negative reviews that The Problem of Pain, Part 1 receives, I'm sure the band doesn't want to hear another review bashing their hard work. I apologize to Torman Maxt in advance, but this album is really hard to sit through.

I'm going to try to be as fair as I possibly can during this review. As a young composer myself, I know how devastating it can be to receive a less-than-stellar write up. There is no nice way to put this, but this band needs a serious overhaul if they ever plan on releasing a part two of this album.

First of all, the lyrics are a huge problem throughout this album. I consider myself a Christian, but this is way too much for me. I have absolutely no problem with expressing your faith through music, but I'd imagine that these overly-preachy lyrics are offensive to anybody that isn't a Christian. I myself am a Christian, but I have a tough time listening to some of these lyrics. Christian lyrics can be beautiful if they're written well (just look at Neal Morse!), but that isn't the case here. I really wish that Torman Maxt would either learn to write Christian lyrics that people actually care about, or they just write lyrics unrelated to religion (which usually works well anyway).

Even if The Problem of Pain, Part 1 were to have good lyrics, that wouldn't be enough to save this album. The music is passable and forgettable at best, and often unnaturally upbeat. If more powerful music were applied to these lyrics, maybe they would seem a little bit stronger. The music is so linear and predictable that it detracts from the overall value of the album. The music is almost entirely played in a happy mood, which can quickly become trivial and downright annoying. I wish there was more variation in the moods of the songs. I think that would make for a much more dynamic album.

Another big problem with this album is the below-average musicianship. The drumming from Vincent Massaro is simple, uninteresting, and boring. Honestly, Tony Massaro's vocals can become very annoying after the first few songs as well. His voice really sounds uninspired and lacking in dynamic abilities. Dominic Massaro does nothing notable on bass (or the sparingly used keyboards) throughout the length of the album. The only positive thing that comes from this album in terms of musicianship is the average guitar playing from Tony Massaro. He doesn't do anything spectacular or out of the ordinary, but he gets the job done.

A strange thing that I notice when listening to The Problem of Pain, Part 1 is the weird guitar melodies. Not in an avant-garde sense, but there are many times when it sounds like Tony Massaro is playing in a different key, or even his guitar is slightly out of tune. A few guitar solos sound really awkward and dissonant because of this. It's not a major problem, but it's just yet another flaw that detracts from my enjoyment of this album.

The production is pretty poor as well. It's obviously low budget and amateurish, but it gets the job done. I personally don't enjoy it much, but it doesn't greatly affect my listening experience.

While it may sound like I think this entire album is bad, it does have a few nice moments. Job's Song is a pretty great track, but after that, almost all of the songs are forgettable. After I hear this album I can only recall a few moments and riffs from the whole album. It's really a shame, because there are a few moments of potential on this album. As a whole, the entirety of this album never keeps me interested.


The Problem of Pain, Part 1 is a really poor album from Torman Maxt, honestly. If they ever want to make The Problem of Pain, Part 2, they need some serious improvements. I seldom will turn down a free album, but this is worth turning down in all respects. If you still feel like you should get this album, it's available for free from Torman Maxt's website. I don't recommend it, however. My rating is somewhere between a 1 and a 1.5, but I'm going to round up. There's definitely worse music out there, even though I refuse to compliment this album.

TORMAN MAXT The Problem of Pain (Part 1)

Album · 2007 · Progressive Metal
Cover art Buy this album from MMA partners
Originally posted on


Torman Maxt is a band that's been hanging around since 1994, yet have only released three albums to date, and are not very well known at all. There may be a good reason for this, however. While the band claims to play progressive metal reminiscent of Dream Theater [DT] and Rush they sound more like something of a church bound garage band. This album is part one of a two part saga, a story about a guy named Job. Yes, Job. While it's clear that this is an allusion to the bible, it's fairly awkward and somewhat embarrassing to hear all throughout the album. As for the vocals, yes they are reminiscent of DT and Rush, but not really as high. Is that good or bad? It's up to you.

The album is supposed to be the Maxt's 2112, and it shows that they really wanted to copy the pattern. The album opens with Overture, which is a short instrumental reminiscent of some kind of hair metal band from the 80s jamming to their hearts content. What is nice about it however is the fact that it flows fairly nicely into the next track, Job's Song. This song is definitely a highlight of the album and it's where the story and character are introduced. Not a ton to say about it still. Also good is the acoustic, Job's Contemplation, a soothing track that is far too short for it's own good. Another fairly good song is Satan's First Song. With some good Coheed-and-Cambria-like instrumentalism at the end. Here, it is annoying again that the name Job just keeps coming up (Someone please change that name!). It's too bad that Satan's Second Song sounds exactly the same as the first, otherwise they might have had something good going there. Surely, the only difference between the two of them is the name and the length. The second one being a bit shorter. One final high point of the album is the very last song, with some bizarre ambient progressive things going on about halfway through that will actually please the average prog-head. It's too bad though, all of these high points are freakishly short lived.

After that is a mixture of things, some songs are very short and forgettable, sounding like modern alt rock more than anything. Really, any title with Job in it will accomplish this and, hey, there's enough of those to feed a small nation. It also seems that this band likes to recycle that one guitar riff throughout all of these songs. A riff as a recurring motif in a concept album is more than okay, but using the same riff, and indeed (in some cases) same guitar solos without any changes in them is just plain unforgivable.

A couple of very annoying points. There are too many songs on here that simply sound too much like a church hymn. The Angel's First Song for example, with it's repeating chorus of 'Holy, Holy, Holy Lord' is enough to annoy any nihilist or non-Christian. This is also not to mention that the way that that particular repeating line is sung is enough to make the ears fall off a cat. Simply annoying. Job's Resolve is similar in this way, with the main character making some sort of prayer 'You are the father...' yada yada yada. Luckily, Angel's Second Song actually has a bit of good ambient Prog in there... for about half of it anyways. Then they're right back in there with their repetition of that freaking hymn. this time, however, it lasts for less time, and that's a good thing.

Well, what shall this be rated...?

This band clearly needs some inspiration to write more than one riff for an album and maybe pick a more avant gard way of discussing religion. While religion is an interesting enough topic there's already too much music out there trying to make the most of it. This album is clearly for the Christian rockers of the world who want some kind of concept album to listen to. That would be fine if it was better done. This is an album to avoid for anyone who is uninterested in religion, or any prog head in general. This is Christian rock music, nothing much more. Maybe this review has missed the point, but there's too much to look around to see the point if there is one. 0.5 star -- miss it. If you're still interested this album is available for free download on the band's website.

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