Tovias is a three-piece which started out in Corona, CA. Two of the members, Brock and Anthony, met during their senior year in high school to compete in the talent show along with other members to perform a cover of "Stairway to Heaven.” Things went so well that the boys continued to make music. They joined other bands along the way; things didn’t work, and they tried again, eventually finding themselves in Tovias. There’s a great sound here, so I hope things fare better for them this time around.
The EP entitled Horizons opens with “Paper Tigers.” Melody and raw emotion combine into one epic masterpiece here. The vocals are emotive, melodic, and powerful. The guitars are screeching, brutal, and relentless, but they’re still melodic. The melody seems to be the thing that this three-piece champion above all else, and I’m glad that’s the case. There’s no point being “heavy” for the sake of being heavy. In the case of this track, the screeching guitars add some power and energy behind an energetic vocal performance. They have to match that level; every musical element of this track has a purpose.
“Personal Hell”’ is driven by a slowly throbbing drum beat and dark, haunting guitar arpeggios. The choruses are packed full of electrifying, relentless vocals and moments of earth-shattering screams. This is a band which knows how to build, and that’s something missing from a lot of bands within this genre at the moment.
They know how to take a song from quiet, timid beginnings to a ground-opening climax. As you can tell, I really liked this song. It’s the singing which really sells me on this band. A lot of the musical elements within these songs are typical of the post-hardcore genre. That’s no bad thing because the songwriting and performances are great, but every band needs some unique element; the vocals are definitely that.
“Hidaway” is another loud-quiet piece. Verses with U2-esque chugging lead guitars (they make it sound good - don’t worry) are packed full of emotive, powerful vocals. There’s a soft nature to this music and yet, simultaneously, there’s a raw energy to it. It’s really hard to explain unless you listen to the music for yourself (hint, hint). The guitars were a highlight on this track, however. You can only use distorted power chords so many times before it sounds old, so I appreciated the guys switching things up; fuzzy, high-pitched arpeggios build and grow to another climactic ending that Tovias is so good at putting together.
“Grand Fire” definitely sends out Tovias in a blaze. A dark, twisted guitar riff, throbbing drum beat and tenderly powerful vocals open the track. There’s an ominous feel to the song, and I love it. This is definitely my kind of music; if you like Tool, Incubus, and that sort of thing then there are definitely those kinds of vibes here. The chorus is an anthem. Powerful vocals which echo off into infinity create an atmospheric vibe to the track, but they’re so strong that they feel immediate, intimate, and present at the same time. This was a great way to close the EP.
Horizons is only comprised of four tracks, but those four tracks got me pumped to hear a full-length release from Tovias. There’s a real energy here, and I’d love to see what the guys are going to do with that next.
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