I caught the UK based trio Toska live recently at a Plini show promoting their magnificent Sunhead album. It was an engrossing performance, there was an electricity present but I'm not so sure it translates that well to the studio. The roar of mammoth, grooving guitars hooked in the room with there vibrations, unable to escape its grasp. Ode To The Author features a couple of tracks I recognized from the show. Its an entirely guitar led meld of Post Metal soundscaping and Progressive Metal tangents, making for some distinguished moments as the range of riffing leads us into unique places.
Without a vocal presence the guitars really do make up a forward momentum as the bass does little to expand upon its tone or experience. The drums chime in with appropriate grooves and energy to create some dynamism. Even in its moments of intense inflections and intricacies it still seems to play second fiddle to the mammoth presence of Rabea Massaad who dominates the spectrum, making his lone guitar sound like an ensemble.
It has its appropriate moments of calm and acoustics, lush notes plucked with harmony but the main avenue is groove and power beyond the structured formula. Massive shapely, lunging riffs gather momentum in the expansion of tension through minor progressions. It makes for colossal moments born of a careful craft, slowly growing songs that always seem to steadily lure us into a trap of mountainous riffs, cascading with a great weight.
Its all brilliantly executed, its steady build ups and sudden shifts feel organic and natural. It flows like a river and builds an engrossing atmosphere that quickly lures one in with vision as we explore the array of riffs, of which its groove elements even steer close to Nu Metal briefly and more obviously Djent with the occasional polyrhythmic and elasticated riffage. I'm very impressed, with a new album out November I will certainly be getting myself a copy.
Favorite Tracks: Chasm, Illumo