Toranaga - God's Gift (Divebomb Reissue)

Slightly pointless reissue alert!
Release Date: 
9 Oct 2013 - 11:30pm

The trouble with a lot of British thrash at the end of the 1980s was that it seemed merely content to ape whatever magazines like Kerrang! told was cool and, more importantly, American.  Even top of the range acts like Onslught felt compelled to bring out albums that by turn, mimicked Slayer and Metallica; So it was no surprise when Yorkshire metallers (Britain’s next big thrash band! chirruped Kerrang!) Toranaga turned up on major label Chrysalis in 1990 sounding for all the world like a second division Overkill

Listening now, despite the paper thin production and the laughable ‘thrash’ drumming, there are some quite good moments on God’s Gift; Listening then, I was off down the local record shop after a couple of spins to exchange GG for something a little more vital. 

If you listen without the thrash preconceptions there are a few nice bits of riffing to enjoy. Sword of Damocles motors along with some nice intent (although the soloing is a bit generic, amusingly enough sounding like Onslaught’s own Nige Rockett trying to be Jeff Hannemann), whilst opener The Shrine is none too shabby either.  When the band didn’t really try to thrash at all, as on the old-fashioned power metal of Hammer to the Skull, they appeared to find their own niche and actually – in a basic, work-in-progress kinda way – sounded pretty convincing.

Signing to a major label probably smothered Toranaga at birth – this album didn’t sell enough for Chrysalis’ liking, which just goes to show the calibre of monkey they were employing in the A & R department at the time – and the band was cut loose when God’s Gift inevitably flopped. Equally inevitably, the band has been reinstigated of late, and it’s to be hoped that in modern times, without a silly record company breathing down their neck, that they might fulfil some of their evident potential. Probably best to save your cash until they bring out a new record.