If I could force anyone to buy some music today I’d be smashing their faces (nicely) into Toro’s Bandcamp page to pick up this great EP. I was taking a self imposed break from any writing but this made me want to pick it up again to talk about this band.
I have to say I was instantly intrigued as soon as I saw the Facebook page of one of my favourite bands who are unfortunately no longer playing, Music Hates You, share Toro stating one of their founding members was involved.
It’s worth saying that this band are on a different sonic stratosphere to Music Hates You, who if you haven’t heard them (why the fuck haven’t you heard them?) are a Sludgy, Grungy, Southern melting pot of brilliance.
Toro on the other hand are more rangy in their style, certainly more pure metal but incorporate some erection inducing Groove riffs along with melodic moments that would not be lost on Melodeath Fans and a varied vocal style. It also just all seems so well thought out. This is not Metal by numbers, it is well constructed, engaging music.
The EP is called Departure and it opens with the feedback laden and abrasive intro to Painting With Shadows. Mixing chaotic noise in verses with a catchy rhythmic chorus with an eerie melody it is a track which shifts brilliantly from corse to cosy.
This Hell Is Real has an adjustment in vocal style displaying a well sung clean vocal in the verses. The riff is addictive and driving taking you through the track banging your head like your in an asylum leading you to an intense outro.
The title track, Departure, is effectively a short interlude of ambience.
Then in comes Bury Me and Flee and anarchic, aggressive number in the beginning, again showing another dimension to this band, before developing into a high intensity track with a hint of a Doom/Sludge tone. I know this sounds odd, a high intensity track with a low intensity style but listen and you will see. Include an awesome solo and Toro have brewed a stonewall ball breaker of a track here.
When The Light Calls introduces the listener to Toro’s softer side, or at least you think it does until your smacked in the face by the chugging riff. What are done really well here, as they are in the other tracks, are the melodic layers built by the guitar in parts, adding a genuine epic feel.
This is a sensible buy for pretty much any metal fan, as it crosses a fair few sub genres in a very clever and accessible way, including New Wave of American Heavy Metal, Melodic Death Metal and Doom. There’s a varied vocal performance that is very strong throughout and ultimately it’s heavy as hell.
Toro are from Atlanta and consist of;
Zackery M. Hembree – Vocals
Adam Mitchell – Guitars and Vocals
Pablo Davila – Guitars
Bruno Segovia – Bass
Jason Belisha – Drums