TOC - Loss Angeles

Year of Release: 2004
Label: InsideOut
Catalog Number: IOMCD 164
Format: CD
Total Time: 50:10:00

This review is excerpted from Clayton's July 5, 2004 The Prog Life column found here -ed.

I suppose you'd have to call TOC prog metal, but only by a hair. Their music isn't particularly complex, tending toward metal with a proggy attitude. In any case, these guys kick serious butt, and the songwriting is spot on. For the most part, vocalist Tuomas Nieminen echews stratospheric vocal reaches, and he doesn't much go in for those operatic bits. Still, Nieminen sounds stylistically like Dream Theater's James LaBrie, particularly in the lower register. Unlike LaBrie, however, Nieminen likes to slip a bit of hard-core growling into the mix.

The rest of the band comprises Rasmus Nora on Bass, Taneli Kiljunen on Guitar, Joiku Harmaja also on Guitar, Carl Sj?blom on Keyboards, and Snake Laitinen on Drums. These fellas pull together a powerhouse act that must be awesome live. All in all, no single musician stands out, all being competent players who don?t feel a need to show off. Most guitar solos are of the melodic variety, rather than improvisational, and are never overplayed. When the music cuts loose, though, there?s no doubt that these musicians can hold their own on any stage.

A few bonafide proggy moments pop up, such as some bits in the tracks "Gothamburg" and "The Blue Lady Suite." "Break-A-Neck," on the other hand, could have been included on a Pantera album, what with its crashing guitar and nearly death-metal vocal growls. Truth be told, between the stadium metal, prog metal, thrash metal, and power ballads, I?m not sure that TOC knows what kind of band they want to be, but somehow the whole thing hangs together.

One last note: Outside of "Stairway To Heaven," "Smoke On The Water" has to be one of the most overplayed songs of all time. (Add to that my having to play it in cover bands a 1,000 times, and I thought I'd never tolerate hearing it again.). But TOC?s cover of this Deep Purple classic has to be heard to believed -- a blistering remake that you better not play in your car stereo unless you want a speeding ticket.

The Window / Mary Lou Is Dead / Acid Highway / Gothamburg / Blue Lady / Wait / The Blue Lady Suite / Break A Neck / Bite The Bullet / Smoke On The Water / Night Crawler

Tuomas Nieminen ? vocals
Taneli Kiljunen - guitar
Joiku Harmaja - guitar
Rasmus Nora - bass
Carl Sj?blom - keyboards
Snake Laitinen - drums

Menace And Prayer (2000)
Pervertigo (2002)
Loss Angeles (2004)

Genre: Rock

Origin FI

Added: July 5th 2004
Reviewer: Clayton Walnum
Hits: 793
Language: english


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