Edmonton metal institution Death Toll Rising is officially running over a decade strong thanks to their vicious brand of groovy, thrash-infused death metal that’s lyrically fixated on the meaningful: Resident Evil 2, a man who is convinced he is Highlander who goes on a decapitation spree at the supermarket and asphyxiating in shit. The quintet just released their second full-length, Infection Legacy, a nine-track juggernaut that’s equally inspired by Cryptopsy, Strapping Young Lad and Exhumed.
“We [spent] a lot more time and care in writing the songs,” explains guitarist Drew Copland, who spoke to BeatRoute from his home in Edmonton. Copland is also a member of “terrorist metal” act Villanizer and was formerly in The Order of Chaos. His band mates Jesse Berube (vocals), Tylor Dory (guitar), Mike Puff (bassist) and drummer Bryan Newbury (also of Into Eternity) round out the band.
“We like to use the term, ‘catchy death metal.’ We are not afraid to put hooks in our music and we really want to make sure the songs have something to latch on to but still cater to extreme fans.”
They’ve achieved just that. The music is bludgeoning and groovy and, this time around, puts slightly less emphasis on grind and technical elements, instead fleshing out the growls, howls and guitar squeals, giving it a dry yet beefy edge. This album also changed in that the artwork and song titles are less, shall we say, obvious, in that they feature an infected cell bursting with disease. In contrast, 2010’s Defecation Suffocation literally was adorned with a “hot girl choking on poop.”
“Sometimes you have to look heavy into [the lyrics] to find the satire because on the surface a lot of the lyrics they do sound cheesy gruesome, or intense gruesome, but there is always an underlying theme that is totally silly,” explains Copland unapologetically. He concludes somewhat unnecessarily, “We definitely don’t feel the need to always be serious.”
See Death Toll Rising on November 10 at the Palomino Smokehouse and Bar with Kataplexis and Vile Insignia. Click here for BeatRoute.ca’s premiere stream of Infection Legacy.
By Sarah Kitteringham
Photo: Dana Zuk