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Toad: Endless Night

For those unfamiliar with Toad, their name is an acronym for Take Over And Destroy, a hearty name that points to the grim and gloomy style they play. Even though this release only comes in at just under 30 minutes, the five songs are plenty long and certainly show off what these guys do best. The music here is a mixture of sludge and doom metal with a healthy dose of some pretty evil sounding organ going on in the background.

Thematically, the music suggests something of the primitive fear humans feel when it comes to the darkness. The band members themselves actually released a statement suggesting that this album "exploits both our aversion and attraction to the darkness." To a large extent, the band's view of fear—as something that arouses awe and curiosity—shares some connections with H. P. Lovecraft's own view that fear is most likely the most primitive of emotions and that human beings should never get so comfortable that they can't experience it.

I'm not sure to what extent these guys claim Lovecraft as an influence, but he does show up in "Howling House" when the lyrics proclaim "I hear the music of Erich Zann," a reference not only to a Lovecraft story, but also to the character that tries to replicate on his violin screeching, weird, and horrifying sounds. It's a good story, one that captures Lovecraft's sense of cosmicism and madness effectively. Lots of bands work with Lovecraftian materials, but some of them only use them to give themselves a certain street credibility. These guys, though, understand that the references need only point to a more frightening doom that awaits all human beings.

The cover art, captured effectively by Sean R. Williams, depicts an evil ritual, precisely the kind of thing Lovecraft's fiction sometimes suggests is going on all around us. This album makes for a compelling listen. It's dark, sludgy, and gloomy. At times, it even reaches toward some melodic passages. Most importantly, it takes the themes of extreme metal seriously without turning them into a self parody. Simply put, this is a loud, aggressive, and exciting new release.

Track Listing:
1. Taste of the Grave
2. Cosmophobia
3. Howling House
4. Boundaries of Flesh
5. Endless Night

Added: June 28th 2013
Reviewer: Carl Sederholm
Related Link: Band Facebook Page
Hits: 1764
Language: english

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