Friday, February 14, 2014
Before we were blessed with Profanatica and Havohej, Paul Ledney got together with guitarist John Gelso and formed the death/black metal crossover Toten in 1987. They released 2 demo tapes, Dreary Proximity (usually called the Misery demo) in 1987 and Macabre in 1988 (Macabre also included bassist Alex Gabriel). While the original master recordings were lost, someone had the good sense to transfer their first-generation cassette copies to CDr and we can now forever relish the lo-fi glory of Toten's early recordings. Fans of Ledney's later work will get a kick out of hearing an embryonic version of "...Of Pestilence" - and "Macabre" is definite shades of Profanatica's "Scourging And Crowning." Wicked fast double bass blast beats behind a über-gained treble fuzz guitar and guttural black vomit vocals. While I'm at it, pretty much everything Toten did sounds like a song Profanatica would have made (or just did in some other form) - good rudimentary black metal from the frosty woods of New England to micturate a Bible to. Enjoy.