Introducing: Toska

Instrumental trio Toska have honed a fantastic progressive metal sound that has most recently been labelled “cinematic prog,” and earned them a tour across Europe alongside Arcane Roots.

The trio of childhood friends Rabea Massaad (guitar), Dave Hollingworth (bass) and Ben Minal (drums) came together over shared growing frustration at not being able to create the kind of music that only they wanted to hear. That frustration has been banished with their creation of tight, ambient progressive rock, which culminated in the launch of last year’s debut EP Ode To The Author – the stream of which on YouTube has amassed almost 300,000 views and nearly a million across all platforms.

As Rabea summarises: “It’s absolutely amazing and something we definitely don’t take for granted! To have nearly a million plays across all platforms and the fact we have fans all over the world who support us, listen to our music and come to gigs literally makes this possible. It’s incredible.

“This is still early days for Toska. Our ambition is to travel all over the world and play music to our fans no matter where they are. So if we haven’t gotten around to you yet, we promise we’re coming! If you’re into progressive music that moves through deep ambience and raw aggression with as much groove as humanly possible then you have Toska!” Sounds pretty damn good to us.

You can check out the EP stream below:

The band heads out to Europe with the excellent Arcane Roots two weeks tomorrow, on which Ben tells us: “We’re super excited to be going out with Arcane Roots! We’re good friends with the guys. They actually took us out on our first tour in the UK a couple of years ago, so that was a real milestone for Toska and was the thing that gave us the kick to record Ode to the Author. It seems fitting that they’d be the band who take us on our first tour on the continent – we couldn’t be happier! The Arcane Roots crowds are always really supportive and up for a good night so it’s going to be loads of fun.”

The band say their sound is inspired by elements of Karnivool, Tool, Incubus and SiKth, so we asked Rabea what inspires their writing. He told us: “When it comes to writing Toska material, it all comes from an emotional place that is provoked by something I’ve seen, read, heard about, or an experience I’ve had. Anything from a daydream to world issues. I’m always trying to capture emotions and trying to portray them through dynamic movements between ambient sections and heavy sections; order and chaos. It’s unpredictable, and that’s the most exciting part!”

Toska will be on tour with Arcane Roots from 22 September in Cologne, taking in gigs in Holland, Germany, Austria and France. Full info on all their upcoming gigs is here.

Following the tour they’ll be straight into the studio to record an album, and keep an eye out for more shows before the end of the year. So there’s plenty to come and, in Ben’s words: “We’re actually working on building a live show that is a truly cinematic, immersive experience. We’re experimenting with lights, images, and even new instruments. We can’t wait to see what happens!”

They’re not the only ones. Toska have a unique, exciting, heavy and diverse sound that we can’t wait to hear more of.

You can follow Toska on Facebook, and check out their music on Spotify and YouTube.

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