Longevity as a writer in music has opened my eyes to the realities of the business. It’s a cut-throat world where only the strong survive. This statement is as true today as it was 20 or 30 years ago. The playing field is not level and splits the musicians into two basic categories, the packaged artists and those who really want to play.
I think heavy metal artists fall into the later category. They know metal isn’t mainstream music, at least not yet. They understand there will be no radio play, little money or publicity and in all likelihood, a hard life of touring. Yet more and more metal acts seem to be popping up all the time. Could it be the world is finally ready to fight for a change?
If heavy metal ever has its chance in the sun again, California’s Toy Called God will find themselves basking in those golden rays.
I first heard of the group last year when I reviewed their 2012 self-titled release (read it here). I thought the album was amazing. It has a dirty southern metal vibe, a cross between Pantera and Hellyeah. With memorable tracks like “Only One Menace”, “Self-Destructive” and “The Voodoo”, I couldn’t believe a band of this caliber was unsigned. Hopefully this new release will put Toy Called God over the top.
Toy Called God has found their sound with Guns God and Steel. The new album is ‘street steel’ meets ‘modern aggression’. The music is heavier this time around and a step away from the groove metal elements that dominated the songs on the self-titled debut.
The new songs have a stronger metal vibe that occasionally borders on thrash but still retain the strong choruses and catchy lyrics that Toy Called God is known for. The end result is a powerful offering with undeniable appeal.
If you thought vocalist Tyson Cliff sounded like Phil Anselmo (Pantera, Down, SuperJoint Ritual) before, wait till you hear this new album, his range is unbelievable.
As solid as the vocals are, they’d be nothing without the guitar and bass relationship of Patrick Donovan and Dustin Phillips – these guys really know how to structure a song and keep it tight. I really appreciate how much the bass lines are featured on this album and how they play off the solid guitar work, especially the solos which follow the hazy raw feel of the previous record, a definite plus!
Solid song writing has always been a strength for Toy Called God and Guns God and Steel is no exception; songs about the injustices of life and personal strife are just some of the concepts explored. Highlight tracks are: “Skin Coat”, “Mystery Machine”, “My Fallen Soul” and “Guns God and Steel”.
Toy Called God are a great heavy metal band. If you like songs about the real world and love a good fist-pumping jam, check out Guns God and Steel, it delivers! \m/
1. Skin Coat
2. The Train
3. Mystery Machine
4. My Fallen Soul
6. Guns God And Steel
8. Conspiracy (feat. Craig Lociero)
9. The Books You Burned
Toy Called God are:
Tyson Cliff – Vocals
Patrick Donovan – Guitar
Dustin Phillips – Bass