Label: Self Released
Typical, just when the weather’s warming up, the petrol prices are going down and it’s beginning to look as if the world might be something other than a doomed cesspit of hatred and despair, along come a bunch of broken hearted black metallers to ruin everything like the proverbial wasp at the barbecue. Only this wasp isn’t a wasp at all, but an album that’s so grim it could only be nastier if the cover art was a picture of a naked baby crawling over a pile of used needles.
And true to form, Russia’s Toluca sound anguished. ‘Memoria’ is like being forced to watch your school bully have freak sex with your one true love on top of your parent’s grave for forty minutes, with the only respite being the occasional pause so they can both fart in your general direction.
Every single track is filled with mournful guitar progressions and strangulated screams and it’s so intense that it’s hard to imagine anyone in their right mind enjoying this in the traditional sense.
However it must be said, when it comes to atmospherics Toluca have things nailed. There is no warmth or humour to be had, but this would make the perfect soundtrack to a night spent alone reading HP Lovecraft. ‘Amon’ is strangely beautiful in a windswept, glacial kind of way and the slow burn ‘Gaap’ is a drawn out, shoegazing nightmare.
‘Vual’ meanwhile comes across like a shirtless lunatic ranting to himself whilst covered in his own blood in the remains of a burned down apartment block, but the most surprising song they have to offer is definitely ‘Furcas,’ which hints very heavily that these lads have a few post-hardcore bands in their collective past. Close your eyes and it’s even possible to imagine that this is what Hot Water Music would sound like if Shining convinced them it wasn’t worth it but this heroin sure takes the edge off.
No matter how many times they refer to themselves as screamo on their Facebook page however, Toluca couldn’t be further from the Warped Tour if they tried. They are very good at what they do and if you want to be wrapped in an all-encompassing wall of noise, well dive right in. This is the sound of a band staring into the souls of their fellow man and seeing nothing but blank space and evil. But on the plus side, Googling them for research does have the unlikely side-effect of making the city in Mexico they’re named after look like a very nice place to go on holiday, so long as this album gets left at home.