Bow Down to Extinction

Several years ago, Ohio’s TON reformed and now we are finally seeing the fruits of their labor.  Bow Down To Extinction is their second album, their ’99 debut, Plague, is outstanding.  I was a huge fan of TON’s demos, in the 90’s Internal Bleeding and TON shared many good times together onstage.  They are also some of the nicest fellas and singer/bassist Jeff Shepler  and I formed a tight friendship, years ago.  So how does this new album sound?  Well it’s really heavy, blasting and grooves that you will be able to sink your teeth into.

This is actually their most brutal offering, I would say.  Opening track, “Severed” has a monstrous groove part at the 1:05 part.  And this is the very beginning of the album!!  I opened up my window and yelled outside-“Hey What is Heavy?”  Some neighbor snickered and said “You!”  I turned around and said, “No!-TON is heavy, ya bastid!  Then I proceeded to knock him into “Oblivion”.  Jeff’s bass playing has only become tighter and crazier over the years.  Hell he is all over the place on this record.  “Condemnation” opens with a killer bass guitar part, before going into a monstrous blast beat.  What about that final tune, “Oblivion”?  Awesome bass playing at the end, alongside that ending groove.

“Propaganda Machine” opens with something that Les Claypool, from Primus,  could have been plucking away on Pork Soda, for crissakes.  This opening part is original for death metal and is just outstanding.  Song has a lot of time changes, as well.  Kevin Kraft, on drums, and Dan Gates on guitar are also crushing it non-stop.  The band, knowing each other for so long and playing together for years, has only made them seasoned and tight as all hell.  Dan and Kevin also chip in with vocals.

If I was gonna ding the band on anything, maybe the drum sound is slightly, and I mean ever so slightly louder in parts, mainly the snare sound & at times the double bass.  The booklet layout contains lyrics and this is a bludgeoning return to form.  This could quite possibly be the catchiest death metal album for 2015.  I will say this, like I have said in the past, TON separates themselves from other death metal bands, in that they are still original sounding.  This is so tough to do, but TON are still doing it and kicking ass all over the place.  Bow Down To Extinction, is incredibly heavy, brutal, groovy, blasting and well played.  One of the tops for 2015, rest assured.

TON should be proud of this terrific album and Brian Ferrell, I’m sure, knows how lucky he is to have TON on his roster-very smart move on his part in signing TON.  Buy or just go and be a Blind Follower, and pick up the latest stinkfest from Children of Boredom.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Frank Rini
September 7th, 2015


  1. Commented by: Paul

    I wanted to enjoy this informal approach but the poor writing – my God that second paragraph – and the writer’s apparent bias toward the band made this review difficult to appreciate. This album struck me as a middling death metal band with less than adequate production. I love you Frank, but it’s hard to take your reviews seriously when they seem like little more than lightly edited brain dumps.

  2. Commented by: Nick K

    The Crushing Design demo rules. Those guys and Drogheda used to come up to the old Mirage in Minneapolis back in 95-96. Sick review. I have to check this out.

  3. Commented by: F.Rini

    Paul-boy did you hammer the hell out of my review. When I write a review yes sometimes biases creep in, after all most reviews are going to have some subjectivity in them and you would have to agree with that. We like what we like. I write my reviews in a way that will be part serious as well as having fun with them. I feel, it makes the reviews more enjoyable to read. I reference a lot of TON history in here with some of my quips and comments. Some reviews are brain dumps-I agree with you. I write how I talk, most of the time. With reviews I prefer to write informal as well as craft them into a story, sometimes. However, be mindful when tearing apart writing styles and then personal attacks. We, as reviewers, get paid nothing for doing this outside of work and family schedules. We all do it to support the scene and for our sheer love of the music. When you get up at 4am and go to work and then have family obligations, you can get a bit tired. So sometimes reviews are not written until after putting in a 16-18 hour day. So try and understand these factors. However, I do appreciate you reading reviews and you coming on TOTD to spend the time reading. \m/

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