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Toke - Fifty Ton Nug

Fifty Ton Nug
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 14 July 2017, 3:12 PM

Formed in 2013, and hailing from Boston, Massachusetts, USA, TOKE present their debut album here entitled “Fifty Ton Nug.” From their Facebook page, they describe themselves as a “brutal Death Metal band that focuses on the brutal and gory side of smoking weed.” From what I can gather, they seem like a fun-loving bunch of guys who just like to get stoned and compose Death Metal. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Death Metal has roots back to the mid 1980’s. The idea both vocally and musically was to be tougher even than Thrash Metal, and many of the lyrical themes dealt with the topic of death. As it evolved, bands were becoming tighter and tighter, more brutal and more brutal. That part of the genre however already reached an apex. So, where does the genre go from here? In my mind, only one place. Back to its roots; an ode to the bands of yester-year. In these cases what often happens then is that bands don’t have enough of their own musical identity and don’t offer anything new to the genre.

Unfortunately that is what we have here. Musicianship alone is not enough in this business. Their corner of the scene is based mostly in their themes and love for the leaf. Sure, the music is heavy and fans of Death Metal won’t turn away from “Fifty Ton Nug,” but there just isn’t anything new going on here on the album. There are seven songs and 37 minutes of running time. Some of the lyrics are done well, but besides the brutality of the music, there isn’t enough variation to really go into a lot of detail. Some of the highlights? “Raining Resin” has some nice riff shifting and some interesting lyrics, like “gigantic globs of residue commence their plunge towards the earth, gargantuan orbs of tar smashing buildings creating toxic molten pools of liquid resin.” “The Roach Collector” is a tongue in cheek sort of song, talking about smoking the ashes of the deceased. I think a lot of this must jus be in the vein of good fun.

“Eternally Stoned” is a fast-paced track with deep Death vocals and guitars that never quit. You can mosh to this for sure, though the lyrical content is disturbing. “Charred and Stale” talks about what happens in your mundane life when you run out of weed, and are at the tail end of the chain to hit the bowl, and all that is left of the green is “charred and stale.” Overall this is right in the genre of Death Metal, with all the things you would expect to hear. I just don’t think they established themselves as anything new or unique, which is hard in a genre that has such tight boundary lines to begin with. Again, the lyrical content is fun, but that’s about all that I was able to garner from the album.

Songwriting: 3
Originality: 3
Memorability: 3
Production: 6

2 Star Rating

1. Fifty Ton Nug
2. Raining Resin
3. Purging the Wax
4. The Roach Collector
5. Eternally Stoned
6. Charred and Stale
7. Dabcimation
Joey Cinz - Guitar, Vocals
Joe Dabs - Drums
Rob Sour - Bass
Record Label: Horror Pain Gore Death Productions


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