Toby Driver - They Are The Shield review



Reviewer:
N/A

12 users:
7.08
Band: Toby Driver
Album: They Are The Shield
Release date: September 2018


01. Anamnesis Park
02. Glyph
03. 470 Nanometers
04. Scaffold Of Digital Snow
05. Smoke-Scented Mycelium
06. The Knot


If Toby Driver hadn't been the main man of Kayo Dot and Maudlin Of The Well, this piece of music wouldn't be here. There's a certain feeling of pride or delight I feel when I get the opportunity to review a nonmetal album on a metal website, in the same way I feel like talking about metal on websites about other music. It's great seeing people online slowly discovering metal through Deafheaven or Sleep or Burzum. It works the other way around, too.

Toby Driver has a long history with metal. Maudlin Of The Well's My Fruit Psychobells... A Seed Combustible was released almost 20 years ago. But it would be complete nonsense to call Toby a metal musician. Or really any other genre. As he is rather famous for his avant-garde exploration, the stripped-down sound of his first proper solo record, Madonnawhore, was quite surprising. His chameleonic nature is continued on this album as well, not merely emulating the sound of previous works but expanding on what was built. So how is They Are The Shield?

One major thing to notice is the increased presence of the violin, performed by Pauline Kim Harris and Conrad Harris, which fills most of the record with a chamber feeling and interplay with the heavy ambiance delivered by the keyboards. While not heavy in the Sunn O))) sense, there is still a lingering wall of sound to be felt, less crushing and more somber and entrancing. Though most of the music is focused on the interplay between the ambiance and the violins, a great emphasis is placed on the drum performance. Due to it being such a quiet and constrained album, they take less of a rhythmic stance and become way more playful, such that every hit of the drum set feels like it's floating. And obviously it wouldn't be a Toby Driver record without his suave vocals in abundance.

Helped by a list of collaborators whose achievements, if listed, would be longer than the actual review, Toby Driver delivers a very moody, intimate, and almost droning album. Certainly more dynamic and expansive than his previous, but more constrained than his other work, it dwells in the space between Ulver's Shadows Of The Sun, Julia Holter's Have You In My Wilderness, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor's F#A#, with bits of Dead Can Dance and Ólafur Arnalds as well. It's perfectly understandable to find it boring, even if you "get" or even like the previously mentioned, but its emotional impact and dreamy mood are hard not to appreciate.

Ethereal, suave, and strangely uplifting would be a good contrast from that death metal album you just listened to. My intent is not to appear as holier-than-thou or in any way condescending. Maybe you'll find it boring, but maybe, like for me, it will remind you of why you love music. Give it a go.


 



Written on 25.09.2018 by My opinion is objective, sorry if you don't agree, but you're wrong.


Comments

Comments: 6   Visited by: 30 users
29.09.2018 - 02:55
Introspekrieg
Totemic Lust
Great review, well done. I had forgotten that this was coming out, so after my initial listen: This album has a lot of the beautiful qualities found in Part the Second, especially the wonderful violin. This seems a lot more focused on the ambient side of the spectrum and works very well. Will not be heavy enough for most listeners here, but hopefully they can at least appreciate it for what it is as a change of pace. Glad someone took the time to remind me I needed to listen to this!
Loading...
03.10.2018 - 01:38
Bad English
Masterchief
This is gayest artwork what I have seen, even name is like a some toy boy movie artwork something-..... shame of shamness this is.
----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...
03.10.2018 - 03:51
Mercurial
Written by Bad English on 03.10.2018 at 01:38

This is gayest artwork what I have seen, even name is like a some toy boy movie artwork something-..... shame of shamness this is.

TIL that man wearing a suit who has an ordinary name is "gay."

I guess BE prefers his men muscular, semi-naked draped in a loincloth and singing about dragons, and has "The Boss" as part of their name (must be a domination thing). You know, not "gay."
Loading...
03.10.2018 - 06:07
Marcel Hubregtse
Grumpy Old Fuck
Written by Mercurial on 03.10.2018 at 03:51


I guess BE prefers his men muscular, semi-naked draped in a loincloth and singing about dragons, and has "The Boss" as part of their name (must be a domination thing). You know, not "gay."


Aaaah like Vlad Putin on that horse pic
----
Member of the true crusade against European Flower Metal

Yesterday is dead and gone, tomorrow is out of sight
Dawn Crosby (r.i.p.)
05.04.1963 - 15.12.1996

Loading...
03.10.2018 - 09:50
Mercurial
Written by Marcel Hubregtse on 03.10.2018 at 06:07


Aaaah like Vlad Putin on that horse pic

I bet he's got a poster of that on his wall
Loading...
03.10.2018 - 10:48
Bad English
Masterchief
Written by Mercurial on 03.10.2018 at 03:51

Written by Bad English on 03.10.2018 at 01:38

This is gayest artwork what I have seen, even name is like a some toy boy movie artwork something-..... shame of shamness this is.

TIL that man wearing a suit who has an ordinary name is "gay."

I guess BE prefers his men muscular, semi-naked draped in a loincloth and singing about dragons, and has "The Boss" as part of their name (must be a domination thing). You know, not "gay."


As album artworks and musically all 80's manowariors are much better, but body building is gay and as well. But this well musically its ehhhh , I have not hear anything so lame for long time, but there are no idea discuss whit rules of the site, its like Ilhams gang can get away whit everything.

----
Life is to short for LOVE, there is many great things to do online !!!

Stormtroopers of Death - ''Speak English or Die''

I better die, because I never will learn speek english, so I choose dieing
Loading...

Hits total: 2286 | This month: 160