Ah, Arizona. My homeland. The home of heat stroke and clearly racist legislation. Where the few animals capable of survival mostly just want to murder you with poison and the only available water is locked inside of plants covered in fucking death-spikes. Indeed, every negative notion you harbor in your mind about Arizona is probably true. And if they aren’t bad enough on their own, here’s something you might not be aware of: it’s where dumb trends go when they finally die. That means deathcore and metalcore are in full force here. You might decide to attend what would appear to be a metal show, only to discover that it’s all just a mirage. A really shitty mirage that plays breakdowns and can’t solo. The local scene can be a real bummer. Luckily, the dudes in Take Over and Destroy are balancing out the scales by playing just about every non-shitty subgenre of metal at the same time. And they’re doing it right.
According to the band’s Bandcamp page, they are “an American rock & roll band from the 1970’s trapped inside of a Scandinavian metal band from the early 1990’s, scoring a John Carpenter film.” That sounds fucking ridiculous. But then you listen to their music, and it still sounds fucking ridiculous. But somehow it makes sense.
Apparently they’re no longer being referred to as TOAD. I think that was a good move. Take Over and Destroy is less randomly amphibian and more fitting for the music. It’s also, in my estimation, exactly what they’re going to do to the bracket once we pit these bands against each other. Last year’s Endless Night got plenty of attention because it ruled. Vacant Face, which dropped over a month ago, is an expansion of their muddy blend of almost-everything, a filthy amalgam of nasty rock n’ roll, black metal, sludge, doom and more.
It really, really kicks. Here’s one of my favorites from Vacant Face. Tell me that riff at 0:55 isn’t changing your life.
Our judges are big fans. Here’s what they think:
Joe Thrashnkill: “Most bands can’t do one thing well enough for me to give a damn about them. TOAD is able to shift between styles and genres seemlessly. One moment you can expect shaky melodies and ripping solos, followed by gargled glass shouts and sludge. This band is a rarity.”
Edward Meehan: “I was shocked to learn Take Over And Destroy were unsigned when they were entered into the Toilet Ov Hell’s Best Unsigned Band contest. I was pleased to learn they had dropped the acronym T.O.A.D. since they received a wealth of praise for their 2013 album, Endless Night. Take Over And Destroy combine everything a person could ask for in a metal band. Harsh and clean vocals, classic rock riffing, and a heaviness played with earnestness and originality not often seen in the multitudes of heavy metal clones coming out with music today. How are these guys unsigned?!”
Tyree: “TOAD are a strange pill to swallow. Here we have a band that adds a ton of ingredients to their metal. That can be dangerous, but TOAD some how make it work. They can play a certain style of metal/rock one moment and then throw you off by changing up the direction and style. It can be a bit odd, but they make it flow smoothly. If you’re looking for an upbeat band that can bring the heavy sludge and doom with some superb production, then TOAD is a band worth listening to.”
Singularity (Tempe, AZ)
Singularity is a weirdo mix of technical and symphonic black. Riffs and synths. Check them out over at Bandcamp.
The Toilet ov Hell is on an absurd quest to find the best unsigned band in each state of this glorious union. The purpose? To shine some the spotlight on bands that deserve more exposure. Also, we’re going to determine once and for all the greatest state in the nation. Each state winner is decided by a collection of 25 judges. After we’ve announced the winner of each state, we’re gonna throw them all in a winner-take-all bracket and leave the votes up to you. Who will be the best unsigned band in the United States? Which state is superior? We can’t wait to find out.