Take Over And Destroy, or TOAD as they like to be known, are a black and roll/sludge/doom/symphonic entity from the wilds of Phoenix, Arizona. This sextet infuse their sound with a multitude of influences and as such have set out to create an epic take on the genres that they so deftly inhabit whilst traversing the plains of horror. Endless Night is their debut full length and follows their EP from 2011 – Rotten Tide – a couple of splits and a whole lotta interest in their shenanigans.
With incredible artwork by the creative mind behind Pallbearer’s Sorrow and Extinction – Sean R. Williams (Animetalphysical) – Endless Night revels in the mystery of the arcane (just check out the full gatefold artwork below) whilst imbuing the proceedings with a sultry groove and more hooks than you can shake a stick at.
The balance between the many different sounds on Endless Night is handled with great style and aplomb and it’s to TOAD’s credit that they don’t let one genre dominate another. The influences are there to be heard yet the band throw them together in such a way as to create a unique sound and a fun as heck record to boot. From the symphonic elements of Emperor to latter day Darkthrone, to shades of Entombed, Endless Night is a rollicking and fast paced record that is steeped in horrific knowledge and a lot of attitude and arrogant swagger.
Check out the full review after the jump, plus a little something extra in the way of an exclusive preview of “Boundaries of Flesh.”
“Taste of the Grave” throws you into the Take Over And Destroy deep end with an immediate burst of life and groove-soaked rhythms of darkened rock overlaid with flighty guitar lines and a nicely incorporated stream of rich organ courtesy of Pete Porter. The organ is a wonderful touch that serves to add that old school vibe to their already huge sound and gives them an edge over other bands peddling the black and roll sound. As the band themselves say, they are “An American rock & roll band from the 1970s trapped inside a Scandinavian metal band from the 1990s,” and that’s as accurate a description as anything we could come up with. Which would pretty much be the same thing. Honest.
“Cosmophobia” begins with the band’s take on horror film soundtracks of old, the twinkling keys breathing over an unsettling course of guitar before the break comes to sweep it all away and massive crunchy tones of bass (Trey Wilson) shatter the off-kilter calm. Huge swathes of sound pour from the guitars of Nate Garrett and Alex Bank Rollins which lend a heady and spiralling atmosphere to the lyrics spat by vocalist Andy, or Chthon as their website leads us to believe is his name. Sure thing Andy. Doomier strides are taken during “Howling House” and the pace is slowed down a tad to showcase soaring guitar lines and intertwining effects of sludgy dirt and blackened aspects of rock. The track is streaming over at Pitchfork and gives a nice taste for what else you can expect from the album.
“Boundaries of Flesh” snaps with tight rhythms and a head-nodding beat that’s difficult to forget after your first listen. Heady sections of stripped back and echoing vocal lines gives the whole track a different and intriguing mood that calls to mind extreme doom-sensibilities and lends a deeply effective 70s B-Movie soundtrack quality to the song before the title track lurches into being with slow, weighty and dastardly destructive proportions. The song swirls with extended motions of climbing guitar wails and gruff vocal bellows that grind with a distinct resonance and the hurtling speed of the closing seconds is enough to raise the dead themselves. Excellent fun indeed.