Although not a major name in the metal world, Toadliquor has enjoyed a small cult following among fans of doom metal since the late '‘80s. The West Coast doom metal band (which was formed in Arroyo Grande, CA in 1989 but moved to Olympia, WA) has never come anywhere close to mainstream acceptance, and that is no doubt by design. Thriving on their underground status, Toadliquor have favored distorted, noisy, dissonant, brutal sludge that is riff-driven rather than melody-driven. Tempo-wise, Toadliquor is the exact opposite of speed metal, thrash metal and death metal; their riffs are deliberately slow, showing a strong Black Sabbath influence. Black Sabbath, of course, has been a huge influence on doom metal, stoner rock and sludge bands in general, and Toadliquor is no exception. But as Black Sabbath-obsessed as Toadliquor's riffs are, they aren't nearly as melodic or as accessible by mainstream standards. There is a lot of nuance, musicality and craftsmanship in Black Sabbath's work; Toadliquor, however, is an unapologetic exercise in sensory assault for the sake of sensory assault. And while that approach isn't exactly conducive to landing an opening spot on a U2 or REM tour, it appeals to underground cult followers of Toadliquor (whose other influences included Saint Vitus, the Melvins and Grief).
In 1993, Toadliquor provided an album titled Feel My Hate: The Power Is The Weight, which came out on the tiny Soledad label and was released as a 12" vinyl LP exclusively--and Toadliquor maintained their vinyl-only policy throughout the '90s, recording nothing but vinyl releases for various small, obscure indie labels. Of course, vinyl was the exception instead of the rule by the '90s, and Toadliquor fans have debated the reasons why they stayed away from CDs altogether at a time when the vast majority of rockers were providing CDs exclusively. More than likely, they did it to be contrarian; that was Toadliquor's way of celebrating their underground status and giving the middle finger to commercialism. But eventually, Toadliquor's work was finally heard on CD. In 2003, the Los Angeles-based Southern Lord Recordings put together a 71-minute Toadliquor CD called The Hortator's Lament, which contained material that had only been available on vinyl in the '90s and offered some previously unreleased tracks as well.