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Toronto – Ride The Rails Award winner

Toronto
Ride The Rails
by Rachel Montgomery at 16 May 2020, 8:43 PM

TORONTO was born from the ashes of beloved Swedish metal band MORBUS CHRON in 2017. The vocalist and bassists joined forces with the drummer from LETHAL STEEL and the guitarist from TEMISTO and thus, TORONTO was formed. They released their first demo in 2018 and now, they are releasing their first vinyl record. While MORBUS was strictly death metal, this band is going more in the direction of traditional metal, combining hardcore, early speed, and New Wave Of British Heavy Metal (NWBHM) influences. Their sound is to the point where it sounds like an album made in the early 80s with distinct early speed, black, and death metal notes reminding the listener where this group of musicians came from in their careers.

The album wastes no time introducing us to speed and heavy riffs. The muddy vocal style, instrumentation, and production all work together to create a heavy punk sound that invokes being in the middle of a mosh pit. This couldn’t be clearer than in the song “Under Siege” where the singer reminds me of a less polished Joe Strummer from THE CLASH, but a more intelligible Lemmy from MOTORHEAD. The songs are incredibly punk: two minutes of instrumental and vocal onslaught that bends rhythm and defies well-defined, organized harmonies. For a punk band, I like the janky guitars, especially on the track “Fast And Filthy” because of the way they stand out. The riff comes through the rest of the music and moves it along. Another part of the album I enjoy is the beginning of “Fire In Sight,” which gives the guitarist an opportunity to show his intricate guitar-playing skills with fast, clear notes. Later in the album, they employ slightly longer intros to show off their musicianship like in “Frostbite Bitch.” This song in particular gives me an early SLAYER vibe and feels like an early thrash metal song. The harmonies in the guitar and the train-whistle ambiance were some pronounced, ear-catching effects that made that song stand out. Of their songs though, the closing track “Ride The Rails” is the most traditional-metal-sounding. With a distinct riff, clearer sound between instruments, and understandable vocals, it sets itself apart from the rest of the album and closes on a more conventional note.

Overall, this felt like a throwback to early punk and even early thrash acts. The songs melt together with the exception of a few effects. It’s clearly not an album meant to passively listen to, rather, it’s meant to Personally, I love both metal and punk rock. For me, though, punk and metal are like coffee and chocolate, two flavors that are great on their own, but the tastes clash when blended together. Aside from MOTORHEAD, I like my metal to be clearer and more orchestrated. However, if you’re a fan of early punk metal, proto thrash, or heavier, muddier traditional metal, this is a band you might want to check out. Also, if you’re a fan of the band members’ earlier work, it’s worth a listen to see what else they can do.

Songwriting: 9
Production: 8
Musicianship: 9
Memorability: 8

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Fast and Filthy
2. Fire in Sight
3. Frostbite Bitch
4. Mud City Maze
5. 23-11-0
6. Ride the Rails
7. UBunker (Under Siege)
8. Lights Out at Bedlam
Lineup:
Eddie Flawless – Vocals, Guitars
Seb Cyborg - Guitars
79-83 - Bass
Lt. Oxtreme - Drums
Record Label: Dying Victims Productions
     


Rating

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Edited 05 June 2020
 

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