Take Over and Destroy – Fade Out [Things You Might Have Missed 2021]

Like many of you, my allegiances are with my local scene. With Covid taking over bars and venues, it’s been challenging to keep up with the ever-changing scene as new basement bands emerge, and veterans call it quits. Thankfully, my fellow Phoenicians, Take Over and Destroy, didn’t let the pandemic get them down—quite the opposite, really. Earlier this year, they were a band that’s been quiet for almost five years. Later in the year, they surprised the entire metal community by materializing a new record out of the fucking ether. With a kickass, old-school vinyl cover and a straightforward attitude to doom and sludge, Fade Out is the Covid album we all wanted. Drop the needle, and let’s get mad.

With nine total tracks, Fade Out is cleverly bookended by “Fade In” and “Fade Out.” Between these tracks exist hate, pain, and a shitload of passion. “Film Crux” follows the massive “Fade In,” lobbying for your very soul. Keeping with the crushing riffs of its predecessor, “Film Crux” issues forth a heavy-hitting yet devastatingly melodic recognition for everything that’s gone wrong in 2021. And follow-up tracks, “Breath in a Plastic Mask” and “Principal Photography,” don’t dissuade us from the anger we feel. Similar in approach to the older, doomier sound of Spirit Adrift, these tracks simplify the effect of their predecessors with singly-plucked riffs. The simple grooves and peaked emotion make your eyes water as the band helps your face meet your desk.

As you progress through the album, you become comfortable with it, knowing that this is another signature TOaD album. Well, that’s until you hit the back-to-back “Exit Bag” and “Night Break.” The first is a minute-and-a-half pummeling that combines punk and Sodom. It’s so out of left-field, it left me stunned. But, goddamn, it’s good, and its runtime is just right. Then, its partner in crime hits. “Night Break” has a similar ferocity to “Exit Bag,” but with a killer surprise up its sleeve. Unlike its Sodomy predecessor, “Night Break” closes with a Toxic Holocaust lick that’ll make you wish you were in a hotel room so you could trash it.

Every time I listen to Fade Out, I have to start it again. I can’t believe how much there is in this Danzig-sized package. For fuck’s sake, the album is less than thirty fucking minutes. But what a compliment it makes to Take Over and Destroy. While that album carried was more diverse and carried more girth, Fade Out sheds the load and does what it does best. It shreds. If you’ve never heard this Arizonian outfit before, now’s your chance to hop on to the bandwagon.

Tracks to Check Out: “Breath in a Plastic Mask,” “Principal Photography,” “Exit Bag,” and “Night Break”

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