I have overlooked this artist, and I want to correct my mistake. Toal, a dark synthpop band from Germany, released their debut album, Ritus Ex Silenti, a few weeks ago. It’s bloody fantastic.
I mistakenly thought Toal was a black metal band because of the mystical images of the bandmembers dressed in cloaks and black angel wings. They actually bring a novel visual approach to the increasingly stale look of futurepop, which rarely deviates from black bowling shirts, Hugo Boss suits, and chunky boots.
Toal’s music includes a lot of trance elements that might put them in the futurepop category, but it’s an epic fantasy version of futurepop. Every song on Ritus Ex Silenti sounds massive, a feat they pull off with bombastic percussion, reverbing synths, and the occasional organ.
But the real power behind Toal is vocalist Luzi Lacole. What a voice. She takes command of each song with the confidence and range of a trained classicist. At times, she’s whispering in your ear like a Viking witch; moments later, she’s hitting incredible high notes on the choruses.
Prior to the album release, Toal released a couple of tracks as singles, including “Trapped Heart” and “Magic.” Both of those songs get remixed on the full-length from the likes of Chrom and SynthAttack (the band in which Luzi Lacole plays keys).
But for me, the killer cut here is “Unreal World,” which receives the full music video treatment. You get to experience Toal in action, and they look and sound magnificent.