Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Toarn – Brood Of Vipers

 Brood of Vipers

Metalcore, as a sub-genre, has been around a while now and I think for the most part it's gotten very played out.  A lot of metal fans never liked it to begin with and the few bands that actually did it well have kind of moved on to other hybrid genres.  Let's be honest.  Most metalcore bands suck more balls than Sasha Grey.  It is a treat, then, when a new band comes along and takes the genre by the throat to show us that there is still life and there are still some tricks in the bag.

That band would be Toarn, and the EP that has me all excited is called “Brood of Vipers”.  They are a self described Christian metal band, so now I feel a little guilty for putting a porn star reference in that first paragraph, but not enough to edit it out.  Toarn definitely put me in the mind of a band I really love, Shadows Fall.  They have a lot of the melodicism and creativity that the Shads feature in their music.  There is also some stuff here that is reminiscent of a little band called Lamb Of God.  Don't get me wrong, these guys are not merely aping the two bands I mentioned, just “recommended if you like” kind of stuff.  You are definitely talking bands right in my wheel house.  Hell if Toarn could have thrown in something a la Deathspell Omega, I'd be in the ER right now with one of them 4 hour erections.

There is some really fantastic music here and you should do yourself the favor of checking it out.  “Brood Of Vipers”, the title track, is just crushing and exactly what a metalcore song should sound like.  There is a vocal breakdown in “Bloodstained Love Story”, and then the band comes in like one of those dubstep drops, only good.  Literally wall shaking stuff.  There are all manner of little atonal guitar riffs snaking in and out of these tracks that really hit the spot.  The drumming is just about perfect, this guy knows when to pummel the double bass and when to leave it alone. 

The recording and mixing of this is very well done.  Everything sits right where it should and is balanced very well.  The song writing is very good as well.  Nice, concise songs that beat the shit out of you and then move along to the next beating.  Being metalcore, there are the requisite breakdowns in each song, but they are done creatively, you don't get to the point where you think, “Ah, that breakdown is there only because it has to be”.  Six songs, probably about 20 minutes, perfect length for an EP and a fantastic introduction to the world for the music of Toarn.  Go out and find this, listen to it, and thank me later. 


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