Tuesday, July 09, 2013

TOAD: Endless Night (2013)

Take Over and Destroy? Don’t Mind if I Do.

I took a brief look at the promo material for TOAD’s Endless Night, downloaded it, put it on my iPod, and forgot everything I knew about it. A couple days later, I came to it with fresh eyes and ears, looked at the cover art, and thought, “OK, I’m ready for some old-school doom metal.” Despite the cover art, that is not what I encountered.

You may recall a few years ago when Kvelertak blew everything wide open, and a few people (myself included) did what we could to find someone, anyone else who sounded like them, but nobody really did. Phoenix, Arizona’s TOAD (Take Over and Destroy) may be one of the first bands to list Kvelertak as a primary influence.

TOAD’s punky, blackened sludge is a lot like Kvelertak if you couldn’t use the words “fun” or “a good time” to describe their music. Breaks for Kvelertakian riffs can be found in “Howling House” and “Boundaries of Flesh. But the gang shouts (“Taste of the Grave”) are less an expression of group excitement than of menace. Where Kvelertak have a whimsical disregard of genre boundaries, TOAD observe those boundaries and occasionally spit on them: organ is everywhere, a guitar solo mimics saxophone (“Cosmophobia”), and deathrock-style clean vocals appear (“Boundaries of Flesh”). Yes, TOAD are a lot like Kvelertak. But they’re more like Okkultokrati. They’re not having fun, and don’t want you to either.

The Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

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