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Totimoshi - "Avenger" (CD)

Totimoshi - "Avenger" CD cover image

"Avenger" track listing:

1. Intro
2. Avenger
3. The Fool
4. Mainline
5. Calling All Curs
6. Rose
7. Opus
8. Leaves
9. Snag
10. Waning Divine

Reviewed by on November 28, 2011

"This is an album for rock fans of many genres and dimensions."

Totimoshi makes no apologies for its love of The Melvins. The band has been a very big influence on Totimoshi, which uses many elements of Melvins in “Avenger.” But Totimoshi also displays raw music ability found less in bands these days; it kindles the fire of the rock influences aforementioned but still strays into a path all its own. In the live setting this band tends to bring the doom persona. With songs like “Calling all Curs” down to the car engine roars and rockabilly whammy bar, it’s evident that the band strived to bring the songs to proper production and studio landscaping to add new dimensions often buried into the live settings of smoky bars.

A psychedelic word play intro starts this LP off; the first riffs of the title track “Avenger” brings a twang from Tony Aguilar’s Fender of bended chords and slashing cymbal crashes by Chris Fugitt. Tony’s vocals enter with a melodic vibrato mixed tastefully with reverb and is rounded out by Meg Castellanos’ rhythmic, scaling bass. The sonar production of this album is present when the treble solo emerges, a song style which brings back memories of Jesus Lizard, The Melvins, and Helmet.

Song arrangement is at the forefront of this release; the riffs lurk in the dark realms rather than revel in them. Tony, and Meg backing, sings in a clean, soothing voice that can either flow with the whimsical parts like in the somewhat surfer Van Halen sounding song “The Fool”, or contrast with the hectic parts like in the heavily distorted, nearly bluesy, “Opus.” Towards the end of the album, songs such as “Snag” shift gears and go into a more hypnotic slower groove and AM radio vocal effects. “Waning Divine,” the closing track, is the grandest song of the album. It leaves you in the chilling psychedelic drone of phased guitars and whispering vocals, then without warning goes into a distorted head banging anthem laced in a soaring guitar solo and screams.

This is an album for rock fans of many genres and dimensions. From the classics to the grunge to stoner metal, it fans out to a broader tapestry of fusion.

Highs: Lots of different layers of sound.

Lows: I enjoyed Tony’s more aggressive vocals and would like to have heard them more.

Bottom line: Definitely different, but great texture.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)