TOJA - (SAD) SONGS OF HOPE (Pure Rock Records)
(Review by Officer Nice)
I can be wrong but I have the feeling that Progressive Rock is popular again. You know, those bands in the era before Dream Theater, Queensryche etc., talking about for example Asia, Rush, Yes etc. An interesting revival if you would ask me because those bands, in the Seventies, had always something special. As above also Hard Rock and the more melodic kind of Heavy Metal is beginning to re-live. Also AOR albums are more available these days and therefore this album of Toja isn’t a real surprise for me. Not that I have ever heard of the band before but this is the kind of releases I love at once!
From the opening track “The Storm” until “Don’t Turn Away” I hear but good Heavy Rock, superb – really outstanding – lead guitars and awesome written tracks! Toja knows the secret of good song writing and all instruments are playing such an important role on this record. Toja brings darkness on the one hand, enlightens the listener on the other. Their harmonious vibes are giving me a pleasant feeling and I am pitying the fact I was ignorant about these Germans. This is the fourth effort of the band but excuse me, I can’t say which album is their strongest.
This band is too heavy for being Rock or AOR, is not dark and powerful enough for being pure Heavy Metal. Yet I am sure a wider bench of Metal heads will like this album. Seeing the band’s picture I dare to say these are, just as I am, middle aged and I suppose that makes it all clear where the roots of the spiritual and musical ideas are lying. Singer and multiple musician Jan JJ Thielking has above a good voice, makes it even more joyful to listen to this record.
This album was released in October and I am obliged to find out more about this band. The guitars are more than worth checking Toja out. Fans of bands like Superior, Ayreon, Pretty Maids, old Europe etc. really should check this beauty out! Check http://www.toja-rock.com
My Points : 85 / 100
95+ : Outstanding, high valued albums & Classic Ones… a direct purchase is advisable !
Between 90 and 95: Surpasses the style of music, must be heard/ordered by every Metal fan
Between 80 and 89: Good in its own genre, recommended for those hooked on it
Between 70 and 79: Decent but best previewing
Between 60 and 69: Rather moderate
Between 50 and 59: Bad, substandard
50- : Rubbish