!T.O.O.H.! - Rad a Trest
Elitist Records
Progressive Death/Grind
10 songs (36'45")
Release year: 2005
Reviewed by Adam
Archive review
Metal, more than just about any other style of music, lends itself to some very strange and unique sounding bands. Some may even call them “out there”. Perhaps no band were better poster children for that description than the Czech Republic’s !T.O.O.H.!. Even the name (an acronym for The Obliteration of Humanity) is off the reservation to some extent. Despite their wacky exterior, !T.O.O.H.! were an excellent mixture of death, grind, and various other styles. You may have noticed that I have been referring to them in the past tense. Unfortunately, they are no longer active, mostly due to the shutting down of their label mere months after the release of their 2005 album, Rad a Trest (English title Order and Punishment). Perhaps not so surprisingly, the label, Elitist Records, was a subsidiary of Earache Records, who have a bit of a checkered history that I won’t go into. With the financial issues arising from their label no longer being able to print their newest release, Rad a Trest would sadly be their swan song. This is made even more troubling since it is an absolutely outstanding album, and by far the band’s best to that point.

!T.O.O.H.! was founded by brothers Jan and Josef Veselý, who later gave themselves pseudonyms (Schizoid and Humanoid, respectively). Both share vocal and songwriting duties, with Schizoid on drums and Humanoid on guitars. Musically speaking, these guys are mad scientists, as the first track points out quite well. Al-amin (aneb jak vycakat jelito) is about as hyper as you’ll find. The parenthetical words in the title translate to "or how to get one’s rocks off". Apparently, these guys get their rocks off with a furious drum onslaught and technical guitar riffs and leads that are all over the place. Frankly, I’m surprised the hands of guitarists Humanoid and Wokis and bassist Freedom didn’t collectively give out on them. The psychotic vocals are a perfect fit for the rhythm section, and the entirety of the sound feels much faster than it probably should. !T.O.O.H.! are quite adept at abrupt stylistic changes as well. The first big one is thrown in during Analyza zahnedy (Analysis of the shitstain). After an opening technical barrage that continues mostly in the spirit of the opening track, a chorus vocal chant erupts that sounds a bit like something a folk or Viking metal band might toss in. Further folk metal hints come in the form of some excellent soloing towards the track’s end. This was assuredly a track that wowed me the first time I heard it and continues to every time I hear it. Of course, in their kooky style, the track ends very suddenly on…the sound of a goat? This pattern of oddities, in all facets of the music, continues on virtually every track, along with the pattern of every track kicking insane amounts of ass. The guitars are mostly in crazed progressive mode, the drums are ridiculously technical, and the vocals range from deranged yelps to brutal grunts. All this makes for some very original sounds. Some of my personal highlights include Padaji, piskaji, where the anarchic sound is suddenly corralled for a brutally heavy march near the middle of the track. A similar tactic is used near the beginning of Abu-Hassan to the same stunning end result. Also worthy of special mention is the closing track Kali. According to the liner notes, Kali is the Hindi goddess of unnatural senses, death, and sex. However, as poetic a subject matter as that appears, the guys couldn’t help themselves from also noting that the same word means “to defecate” in their native Czech tongue. Despite that hilarity, the song is the most melodic and beauteous on Rad a Trest, though it might not appear so early on. The first half of the track is mostly in the crazed death metal style of the rest of the album, though there are slight melodic hints at what is to come in the final two minutes. These two minutes are some of the most mesmerizing ones I have ever heard. Though devoid of vocals, every instrument (yes, even the bass) turns in a standout performance. Kali ends in a wonderful, fading melodic sendoff to an otherwise maniacal album. I like to think of this as the background music as !T.O.O.H.! ride off into the sunset.

My only complaint with Rad a Trest is the length, which clocks in at just under 37 minutes. While this makes the album easy to listen to in one sitting, the quality was such that I was ready for more as Kali started to fade out. There really aren’t many albums where I can literally say every song is excellent. If you had not guessed by now, Rad a Trest is one of them. There are highlight moments all over the place. I could sit here and gush over each track in detail and we would both be here awhile. Rather than risk boring you with that, let me instead just say that this is a unique and outstanding piece of metal art, and you would be doing yourself a favor to pick it up. Fare thee well !T.O.O.H.!, you will be sorely missed.
Killing Songs :
Analyza zahnedy (Analysis of the shitstain), Padaji, piskaji, Kali
Adam quoted 96 / 100
Goat quoted 90 / 100
Other albums by !T.O.O.H.! that we have reviewed:
!T.O.O.H.! - Komous (EP) reviewed by Goat and quoted no quote
3 readers voted
You did not vote yet.
Vote now

There are 14 replies to this review. Last one on Fri Jan 01, 2010 8:17 pm
View and Post comments