Before we even start with all that nonsense how great and famous they are, that they´ve done dis and dat, that they´re still young and love rock´n roll….
It´s all rubbish, they´re cowboys from Montana …..!
Some of it is actually true, TOB in fact comprises of members, ex-members and musicians of Alcatrazz, the Scorpions, Firewind, Jorn, Bruce Dickinson, Glenn Hughes, Helloween, the Vivaldi Metal Project, Metalium, Holy Hell, Nightmare, Kingdom Come a.o.
Ah yes, PRESS… 2017 – Lake of fire (Lion Music 2017
Rockpages GR 10/10 – This is an album that leaves you gasp for air from the very first moment when you load it on your stereo, PC or mobile phone. The production is old-school, crystal clear and that also plays a great role in this hell-of-an-album.
Powerplay UK 10/10 – If you love Rainbow, UFO and Roth era Scorpions, you will kill for “Lake of fire”.
Crossfire Metal DE 8/10 – Die fast ausschließlich, mindestens fünf Minuten andauernden Stücke profitieren von dem charismatischen Gesang und dem starken Gitarrenspiel von Joe Stump, bis hin zu dem finisher ein energiegeladenes und modernes Machwerk, welches die gute alte Zeit, mit versierten Kräften, gekonnt wieder aufleben lässt.
Metal Factory CH – 8.5/10
Passzio HU – 8/10
Danger Dog USA – 4/5
It all started on a Sunday morning with Joe Stump, the Shredlord (Alcatrazz, Holy Hell), Craig Gruber (Rainbow, Elf, Gary Moore) and Csaba Zvekan in 2014.
Let´s make a great album and get out there and play.
With the addition of English/German powerhouse drummer Mark Cross and Mistheria, the Italian Keyboard wizard and mastermind behind the Vivaldi Metal Project, and with Bruce Dickinson on tour in 2024, the line up now formed a convincing and strong ensemble.
It is no secret that American shred legend Joe Stump is heavily influenced by the European hard rock masters Richie Blackmore, Yngwie Malmsteen, Uli Jon Roth, Michael Schenker and Gary Moore and that TOB´s Music would take a turn towards this direction, a taste to the original work of early Rainbow, that had featured Craig and Dio at the time.
However before this promising line up could finish recording the album, late 2014 Craig was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed on May 5th, 2015. RIP old friend.
The band was devastated, but they decided to move on and finish the writing of the album. Mark had already recorded his drum parts in February 2015 at Pontus Egberg´s Studio (Bassist of The Poodles, Tainted Nation, King Diamond and The Treat) in Stockholm, Sweden.
Nicola Angileri (Vanishing Signs, Jorn) was given the Bass player´s position who recorded his tracks in 2016, another perfect match for the band.
Very excited on July 20, 2017 TOB released their first album «Lake of Fire» through Lion Music, which unfortunately did not last long on the market, due to disagreements with singer Zvekan, who took an unexpected turn demanding the release to be stopped for copyright infringements threatening everyone claiming the music and production to be his just two days after its release!
The band then found out that Zvekan deliberately had registered all works behind the band´s back during the writing and recording sessions under his company´s name. Stump had registered his works back home in the US and hard knocks were about to be shared between American Publishers BMI and Suisse SUISA.
Knowing the cost and consequences of legal and longterm lawsuits, although feeling bitter, the band decided to let go instead of risking thousands of dollars and simply moved on, while Mark registered the logo as trademark under his companie´s name at the same time.
Shows had been booked and had to be cancelled since Zvekan wouldn´t stop harrassing the band for some time, trying to build a new line up around himself, re releasing the same songs using original guitars and drums, but that of course did not go well!
What goes around, comes around!
While the band was looking for the right front man, the young talented Italian singer Ruben Sacco stepped in for the band´s first performance at the MIC Rock Festival in Villapiana, Italy on August 4th, 2018 in front of 2000 spectators.
After a long pause, TOB finally stepped out of the shadows and decided to continue working, now under the monicker «JOE STUMP´s TOWER OF BABEL».
With the addition of French – Italian singer Jo Amore, who had recorded 12 albums with NIGHTMARE, the band landed a successful come back show at the MENNECY METAL FEST in France on September 14, 2022. Jo´s vocal abilities matched the band´s sound perfectly.
Stump wrote new riffs and shaped up songs and Mark took the new production under his wings and continued working at his Studio “The Drum Dungeon Studio” in Greece where he recorded drums, created sounds and worked with Jo on vocals and lyrics. In August 2023 he took the production to the Studio Aspiotis in Athens, Greece and mixed it with George Aspiotis. .
A release date has not been announced yet.
Mark added: “The album sounds fresh and massive! We´re all very happy with the result….. I am very pleased to have earned my band mates trust to produce the album the way I felt was right, and hope that everyone else will like it too. Yes it took some time to get it done, but I guess we all needed to take that deep breath since the pandemic had slowed us down a bit. But now we´re back in full, motivated and ready to kick some butt!
It was an absolute pleasure to have worked with George at his Studio, he´s a fantastic engineer and knew exactly what we wanted and what the album needed. There is such a huge difference between working digital using plugins and mixing on an analog console (SSL this time) and vintage tubed goodies. A real Chandler EMI or Shadow Hills can´t be topped. I know it´s all budget related, but we knew what we wanted and agreed to go vintage.
We didn´t want to belong to the mainstream sounding like everyone else, same triggered drum sounds etc etc…
No, I didn´t want that and said it from day one, this has to be done differently, this is who we are, and what you hear on the album, you will hear live.
We are all great players, know what I mean? We don´t need backing tracks or lip synced vocals like so many others and most importantly, we have a singer spot on.
I didn´t even have to use auto tune on his vocals, not even once!!!!
And that really means something, take it at heart….. the guy can sing 🙂
We didn´t need plastic surgery, we needed the analog sound, I don´t think I need to say more!
The mastering was done by the one and only Ade Emsley (Iron Maiden, KK´s Priest) in London at “Table of Tone Mastering“
I honestly believe, it´s how you set your goals and where you really want to go ….”