Belfast trio, Toska, formed from the wreckage of Annapurna in May of this year, which explains how they could get a single written and recorded in such a short space of time. I’m not too familiar with Annapurna’s material but the consensus is that Toska have the same sense of experimentation but are a bit on the heavier side.
Musically, I really like the progressive/experimental edge mixed with some heavy duty riffing. It reminds me a lot of the dear departed Kasper Rosa musically and I imagine fans of that band will automatically like Toska. Some people would see a song time of 9 minutes and immediately lose interest. Not me. I’m old school and I believe that a song should be as long as it needs to be to say all that it needs to be said. I never lost interest at any stage through the 9 minutes plus of ‘Polyforms’.
‘Polyforms’ features Aran Glover from We Are Knuckle Dragger and this is where the sounds diverges from the Kasper Rosa template with a much more hardcore element; much more larynx-shredding screaming of the lyrics. Have to say, I’ll never be a fan of this type of ‘singing’ nor do I feel equipped to judge how good they are against their peers. I’d have to confer with my colleagues Brehaut & Traynor for that. My gut feeling is the band would be better served steering away from such heavy usage of that style of vocal, as I don’t think it suits or enhances the progressive nature of the music. But as always, that’s just my opinion and I fully admit I’m a vocals man, and when the vocals turn me off I find it hard to give a band repeated listens. But I DID hear enough in the music to really interest me and the band are finding their style and perhaps, when they get a full-time singer, that will help distill their direction further. I’ll be keeping an ear out for them in future.