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ToyZ biography
ToyZ was a Progressive Metal band from the Netherlands. Formed in 1996 by guitarist Peter van Heijningen and keyboard player Mark SMIT. Drummer Robet Van Kooij and bass player Ron VAN DEN BAS joined in 1997. Without a vocalist, the band opted for very melodic instrumental Prog Metal.

In 1998 the album Remember was recorded. The band recruited a female vocalist in 2000 but due to musical differences, they disbanded in 2002.

Biography by Bonnek

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4.00 | 1 ratings
4.00 | 2 ratings
The Infinite Road

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TOYZ Reviews

Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Infinite Road by TOYZ album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 2 ratings

The Infinite Road
ToyZ Progressive Metal

Review by Aussie-Byrd-Brother
Special Collaborator Rock Progressivo Italiano Team

4 stars The last couple of years have delivered endless high quality instrumental progressive albums, but one that's completely been lost amongst the higher profile releases has been Toyz' second album from 2012, `The Infinite Road'. With a 14 year gap since their obscure debut album and numerous line-up changes, this band from the Netherlands have decided to ditch vocals altogether and have carefully compiled a strong collection of addictive hard- rocking instrumental pieces that are always catchy and endlessly melodic. The four-piece are all exceptional players, but they never feel the need to show off with draining and drawn- out show-boating, instead focusing on compact pieces with superbly executed soloing.

Despite being listed as progressive metal act, `The Infinite Road' suggests the band have far more than that style to offer. Although they have occasional passing similarities to Dream Theater (but much more subdued), they rarely resort to uninspired riff-heavy metal clichés, and despite constantly having a hard rock approach, they also incorporate crisp synths runs similar to the Neo prog bands (I.Q sometimes comes to mind) and classical symphonic grandiosity, with the smoothness of the later Pink Floyd albums. All the pieces race through a range of different tempo changes back and forth, full of dynamic playing and punchy performances, and anyone familiar with Carpe Nota's amazing self-titled album from the same year will have an idea what to expect here too.

Without question, standout praise must go to guitarist Peter van Heijningen. The man plays with so much genuine emotion, his every note goes straight to the heart, always effortlessly sublime. How he has remained a relative unknown is beyond me, and he may deserve to eventually be considered among the modern progressive guitar greats. The rest of the band are all excellent as well, Arjan van Gog coats the disc with an endless tasteful selection of synths, Robert van Kooij's drumming is always snappy and Jeroen van Boldrik's murmuring bass moves in all directions.

The frantic tension and sense of foreboding on `Face The Mirror' is an early highlight. It's the first piece on the album to incorporate very stirring orchestration to hugely dramatic effect, as well as the keyboards taking on an almost choral quality. The deeply romantic `Tears of Joy' would have been considered a classic if it had appeared on one of the early Pendragon albums, with heartfelt clean electric guitar runs and cool icy synths very comparable to Nick Barrett and Clive Nolan. `Introspection' is a melancholic ghostly piano interlude that remains hopeful, `Far Away' opens with a booming theatrical narration before running through all sorts of symphonic bombast, with some slight medieval flavours and even brief reggae touches.

`Shifting Gears' fills the gothic heaviness with synth-heavy electronic atmospheres, `Dream On' is an exquisite slow-burning bluesy guitar and piano showcase that would make David Gilmour weep. `Rock on Wood (hey, at least the band have a sense of humour!) is an up-tempo ballsy rocking blast with an amusing and unexpected western break in the middle, and the band seem to be having a heap of fun on this one! The album closer `Thermal Winds' is a fitting finale, the rest of the band playing with perfect restraint around Peter's powerfully touching and romantic Camel/Andy Latimar-styled soloing.

Accompanied by a CD booklet that not only folds out into a small poster of the cover artwork, but includes brief written passages that each track are inspired by, `The Infinite Road' is for those who like gutsy instrumental rock played with power and variety, and fans of any of the above mentioned artists will find much to enjoy here. There's also a real joy to the playing of these musicians I'm hugely impressed by, so I hope we get a follow-up to this terrific album sooner than later - that means no 14 year gap, fellas!

Four stars - Well done to this great band!

 Remember by TOYZ album cover Studio Album, 1998
4.00 | 1 ratings

ToyZ Progressive Metal

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars Toyz is a forgotten and totaly unknow progressive metal band from Holland who release only one album in 1998 named Remember. Quite great progressive metal with plenty of memorable moments, athmospheric keyboards melted with guitar parts. I don't know very much about this band only what I've red during my digital download from CD baby, where is available at very low price, only in digital format is available. Fans of the genre must check this band because worth it, belive me. Elaborated guitar parts, very well played wuth keyboards helping through out giving a very enjoyble atmosphere. Great cover art. 4stars easy, pleasent most of the time with inventive passages. They disbanded in 2002 and gone into oblivion.
Thanks to bonnek for the artist addition.

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