Snake Stomper Studio, Big Horn, Wy. The wall of various Marshalls.

Snake Stomper Studio, Big Horn, Wy. The wall of various Marshalls.

Where underground metal is created....

Where underground metal is created....

The TK music library

The TK music library

First TK ad! Shrapnel Records full page in Guitar World 1993.

First TK ad! Shrapnel Records full page in Guitar World 1993.

Century Media Germany ad for Onward's "Evermoving" 2001.

Century Media Germany ad for Onward's "Evermoving" 2001.

TOBY'S BLOG

Journal from Last FM radio 

Now it's no surprise to me that the listeners I have are polarized. I am interested and practice in three genres: Black Metal, Progressive Instrumental guitar music and Traditional Heavy Metal with talented vocalists. There is no way to get the entire audience into the totality of the music- and that's understandable. I work in cycles. Usually a Black Metal album is soon followed by an instrumental album and a strictly 80's metal album with soaring vocals shortly thereafter. So, I try to keep all distinct audiences happy by cranking out what they specifically want- myself as well. For instance, the newest BM album - Waxen's "Weihung Auf Satan" is not embraced by the guitarists whereas an Onward album is a turn off to those that want more darkness from me, etc. So be it. This is a journal taken from Last FM and the author hits the nail right on the head.- Toby 

"Polarizing Lines is a fast and heavy instrumental metal album by guitarist Toby Knapp (Godless Rising, Waxen, Onward (the metal band) and tour guitarist for Darkane on their 2009 Canadian tour). Knapp made a name for himself fusing progressive metal time signatures with death and black metal influenced instrumentals as early as 1993, playing with a style described by one popular Canadian magazine "Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles" as "A guitar wizard who sounds like a crackhead fistfight between Yngwie Malmsteen and Randy Rhodes". Knapp has gained a (small) following and many positive critical reviews since then, but has found himself moving from band to band and label to label without a very solid regularity or distribution to his releases. Perhaps a limiting factor to the growth of Knapp's fanbase is the chasm of difference between traditional metal, death metal and instrumental music that limits the number of fans to whom the entirety of Knapp's projects will appeal to." LAST FM

Renowned Composer/keyboardist Jimmy Pitts talks "Waxen" 

Every once in awhile, a musician with a vast knowledge and a superior grasp of music theory comes along and makes sense of what others might call noise. Virtuoso composer/keyboardist Jimmy Pitts is one of those guys. Jimmy has performed a diverse array of music ranging from the frenetic metal and technicality of Scholomance, Spastic Ink. and The Fractured Dimension to Jazz, Classical, Rock, World music, & the avant garde. He bought the new Waxen album and I am honored and humbled by his words, check out his great review and check out his music if you haven't! 

"I received the new Waxen album from Toby Knapp - a man I have long lauded as the hardest working and most productive musician I know. Toby is a legend in the metal and guitar scenes, which is a reputation he has earned by moving effortlessly and authentically through power metal, Neo-Classical, and, as is the case here, raw and honest Black Metal. What strikes me from the very first chords is the visceral tone and recording quality, akin to classic Darkthrone or Burzum, while retaining its own atmosphere, and next I am ripped into Toby's dark mind with epic riff after epic riff, all the deep chords you expect from the style, the grind, and then, what's this? Melody and beautiful soloing that somehow doesn't take away the intensity, but gives it maturity and heart - blackened as it is. The vocals are extremely harsh and distorted and augment the utter desolation of much of their musical bed, as does the cover art. It is a whole and unified statement that Toby is a master of this style of music, and in his virtuosity as a guitarist, he has breathed new life, respectability, and perhaps hints of the other styles he is known for, particularly the more Classically influenced soloing, into a genre that at its best can be extreme art and one of my all-time favorite forms of metal, and at worst a childish and ridiculous attempt at frightening the weak-minded. Waxen is equal to the best in the genre, and having a musician of Toby's experience and calibre is the perfect compliment to an album which is a labor of, for lack of a better and more sinister term, love." - Jimmy Pitts

Toby 2016- and yes- haven't had a haircut in 25 years. Time for a change.

Toby 2016- and yes- haven't had a haircut in 25 years. Time for a change.

Drum maestro Shane Wacaster laying down tracks for future collaborations with Knapp!

Drum maestro Shane Wacaster laying down tracks for future collaborations with Knapp!

One man Metal operation!

A day packaging and preparing orders received through the Big Cartel shop.

A day packaging and preparing orders received through the Big Cartel shop.