F U L L . R E V I E W S


S-Tool
Tolerance 0
Type: CD
Company: Playground Music Finland
Release: 2017
Genre: Heavy/Extreme
Reviewer: Eric Compton
Published: 2/9/2018
Promising Finnish act lead by Ville Laihiala
Vocalist/guitarist Ville Laihiala made his mark on metal with fronting Finnish act Sentenced from 1996-2005. After that band's disbanding, Laihiala went on to join the equally good Poisonblack in 2000. After six albums over a 15 year period, Laihiala announced that the band was sadly going on a hiatus for an unknown length of time. In the moment, it seemed like Laihiala may be leaving the scene for a while. Thankfully, that wasn't the case.

On June 9th, 2017 three singles appeared from Laihiala's new act S-Tool (short for Severing Tool). "Shovel Man" (band moniker tie-in?) and "Your Despiser No. 1" were abrasive tunes with plenty of chugging rhythms and Laihiala's charismatic vocal style. "Hammering" was the most chaotic, a faster track that's braced by churning, down-tuned riffs and busy percussion. It was the most different of the three but showed off a ton of potential for this new band.

The band's full-length debut, 'Tolerance 0', released on September 15th, 2017 through Finland's Playground Music label. Along with Laihiala comes active and former members from other popular Finnish acts like The Black League, Gandalf, Lullaccry and Entwine. This experience and diversity pays huge dividends for this remarkable record. Laihiala may have his best project to date.

Along with the above trio of tracks, the album includes plenty of equally hard-hitting tracks. "There Lies Life" has a sweeping doom-riff that introduces the uber-cool opening line, "All my friends are dead". "Back to Zero" has a thrash presence, harboring the same energy and restless abandonment as Overkill or Exodus but injecting heaps of melody into the chorus part. The bass (Kimmo Hiltunen) is a rigid impression, showing higher in the mix on the hefty "There Lies Life".

Laihiala continues to overcome diversity by creating new avenues to express his dark art. 'Tolerance 0' is one of the best records of his career by a band that seems to have similar interests and experience. It's a chemistry that performs extremely well. "Until the Lid Closes" this should be an incredible journey. Let's hope the band stays intact and continues releasing distinguished albums.
About this Writer:
Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.

Maximum Metal Rating Legend - Click for Full Details
5 Excellent - Buy it and say a prayer to the metal gods that you were tuned on to this masterpiece. A classic.
4-4.5 Great - Almost perfect records but there's probably a clunker or a lacking somewhere to keep it from perfection. You won't feel bad about dropping some bones on these.
3.5 Good - Most of the record is good, but there may be some filler. This is the OK range where you'd search for the record on sale or used.
3 Average - Some good songs, some bad ones at about a half/half ratio. Could show skills but be dull overall. Redeeming qualities for indy bands are effort and passion. Majors that don't try or suck outright end up here.
2-2.5 Fair - Worth a listen, but best obtained by collectors. There is much better metal out there.
1-1.5 Bad - Major problems with music, lyrics, production, etc.
0 Terrible or an otherwise waste of your life and time.

Note: Reviews are graded from 0-5, anything higher or not showing is from our old style. Scores, however, do not reveal the important features. The written review that accompanies the ratings is the best source of information regarding the music on our site. Reviewing is opinionated, not a qualitative science, so scores are personal to the reviewer and could reflect anything from being technically brilliant to gloriously cheesy fun.

Demos and independent releases get some slack since the bands are often spent broke supporting themselves and trying to improve. Major releases usually have big financial backing, so they may be judged by a heavier hand. All scores can be eventually adjusted up or down by comparison of subsequent releases by the same band. We attempt to keep biases out of reviews and be advocates of the consumer without the undo influence of any band, label, management, promoter, etc.

The best way to determine how much you may like certain music is to listen to it yourself.



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Tolerance 0S-Tool
2017
Eric Compton2/9/2018


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