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Toom - Behold the Basilisk

Toom
Behold the Basilisk
by Leanne "Metal Maiden" Evans at 12 December 2021, 9:40 PM

Sometimes, us music journos are asked to review a release from a band who is no longer, and I’m sad to say that this is one of those occasions. TOOM were a short-lived trio of teenagers, incepted in 2007 in the depths of sleepy Suffolk, who were deep into the sounds of Sludge, Stoner and Doom. A trio of then teenage Stoner Doom fans went against the metalcore driven grain of music of the time, to produce their own riff-laden, distorted darkness. Citing influence from the likes of ACID KING, BLACK SABBATH, SLEEP and MASTODON, TOOM had the makings of something magnificent. However, after just one two-track demo, and having only played a handful of shows across the South UK, the guys of TOOM parted ways after a personal feud forced them to split and go on their separate journeys.

Post-disbandment, the members of TOOM moved into new music projects, with Justin and Ted forming a band called SHRINE 69, and Jack kept busy with his other project MEADOWS. Ted subsequently went on to join TELEPATHY and recently formed COBRA LUCHA, whilst Justin went on to find fame with psych-rockers PURSON and is currently part of UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS and Jack formed OLD MAN LIZZARD and joined the might SLABDRAGGER. But before their disbandment, TOOM recorded four tracks, presented today as the newly released EP, “Behold the Basilisk”. Released on APF Records, four massive cuts from the archives, cuts that have most certainly stood the test of time with the familiar shroud of sludged stoner doom soundscapes as prevalent today as back in the day, are here for us to behold.

“Snake Chalmers” opens this time capsule as a laid-back instrumental to produce an infectious combination of anticipation and mellowness, whilst “There’s Nothing Cute About Cobras” roars with tempestuous tones of distortion and a healthy glut of instrumental brilliance before the vocals kick in. “Mandark” is a whirr of a thick wall of sound, cleverly combining all aspects of TOOM’s influences into a perfect just over seven-minute haze, whilst “Decapodiformes” introduces slightly more tempo, but retains all the formulaic elements of traditional Stoner Doom. It’s a shame that the guys disbanded because there’s a real sense that there would have been organic maturation about TOOM. “Behold the Basilisk” is a promising collection, a debut that has – or rather had – potential to move on to far greater pastures and really make waves. The production is authentically unpolished, with abyssal depth and an endearing ruggedness about it that only enhances the atmospheric aspects perfectly. The tracks are solid and robust, with plenty of substance and showcases the trio’s abilities and conceptual ideas with finesse.

If you’re a fan of the sub-genres this EP amalgamates, let this slice of muck snake its way into your collection.

Songwriting: 8
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 8
Production: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Snake Chalmers
2. There’s Nothing Cute About Cobras
3. Mandark
4. Decapodiformes
Lineup:
Jack Newnham – Vocals and Drums
Teddy-James Driscoll - Guitar
Jus Smith - Bass
Record Label: APF Records
     


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