Toledo Metal: The Story of Dethtoll 1986-1989


Dethtoll was an early American death/thrash metal band based in Toledo, Ohio. The band was formed in 1986 on New Year’s Day by Todd Evans and Joe D. Evans got his first guitar as a high school graduation present. According to Evans, Joe D had been screaming, yelling, and singing his entire life. Their first song, according to Evans, was written in Joe D’s bedroom with Evans on guitar and Joe D singing through a vacuum cleaner tube. In 1986 Dethtoll created their first recordings, an untitled five song demo tape. At this time the band consisted of Todd Evans (guitar), Joe D (vocals), John Gingrich (drums), and Howard Kolb (bass). The Dethtoll sound, according to Evans, was influenced by various bands including Slayer, Exodus, D.R.I, Voivod, Black Flag, Die Kruezen, Dark Angel, Dr. Know, The Mentors, and GWAR.

Dethtoll played various venues in Toledo and in surrounding cities, including the Cyprus Lounge (Toledo) and Blondie’s (Detroit).

In 1987 Dethtoll released their first album titled “Count the Dead” and followed that up in 1988 with their album titled “S.A.D.”

Dethtoll disbanded in 1989 and some members went on to start, or join in, other musical projects. Evans played guitar for Porn Flakes, Mother Goose, Lazy American Workers, GWAR (as Beefcake the Mighty), and currently plays for Mobile Deathcamp. Gingrich went on to play drums in the bands Ground Zero and Social Decay, along with Kolb on bass.

In 1992 the Bijou in Toledo, Ohio hosted a Dethtoll reunion concert.

On February 2, 2008 former Dethtoll drummer John Gingrich passed away.

Thanks to Todd Evans, Joe D., and the Gingrich family for supplying me with info and images. Thanks to Howard Kolb for posting Dethtoll pics on your FB page. This page is dedicated to the Gingrich family.


Untitled demo (1986 – Indie Release)

Count the Dead (1987 – Indie Release) Tracks include Mourning Impalement, Count the Dead, Destructive End, Sea of Fire, Erthshok.

S.A.D. (1988 – Indie Release) Tracks include Death Revealed, Barra Edin Na Zu, Flight 655, CH4H2S, POW/MIA, Chez Bourgois.


Dethtoll – Divus De Mortuus

John Gingrich- Encyclopaedia Metallum – Personal Page

Ground Zero

Ground Zero members included Mark Snyder, John Gingrich, Dave Wood and Howie Kolb.

Social Decay

Social Decay members included Mark Snyder, John Gingrich, Howie Kolb and Chad Nagy.


Social Decay – Encyclopaedia Metallum : The Metal Archives

Social Decay – Discogs