You know thrash bands that have a long fiddly acoustic intro? Toxic Holocaust aren’t one of them. Much like previous releases, it’s straight into the metal and it really doesn’t let up until the last note of the last song.
There are no long complex songs here, just short to the point audio attacks. The eleven track album clocks in just shy of half an hour. No ballads to kill the pace, no fret wankery, just stripped back thrash.
There are times they wear their influences on their collective sleeves, the beginning of Rat Eater plays like something from Seasons in the Abyss and there’s an overall strong feeling of Exodus and modern day Kreator (which if we’re honest, is old Kreator)
There aren’t really any immediate “singles” or stand out catchy tracks and to be honest, if it wasn’t for an improved production you could easily be listening to more tracks from Hell on Earth. Is this a negative though?..
Fuck no! While some bands would grow stale, Toxic Holocaust’s blitzkrieg style thrash n’ dash approach means the listener has no time to escape and the tracks stay fresh.
Out of the Fire is a total stomper of a track, the sliding beat midway through can only result in drumming with your feet/available body parts. The bass on Salvation is Waiting makes this one of the heavier tracks on the album while tracks like Deny The Truth and I Serve… all have those painful headbang moments where you know you’ll suffer the next day if you see them live.
Joel Grind’s vocals help to separate Toxic Holocaust from the thrash-herd. Opting for a deeper rasp reminiscent of Mille Petrozza after smoking and drinking Lemmy quantities of cigarettes and jack, he manages to sound suitably pissed off for half an hour and is almost more of a rhythm “instrument” than melody provider.
The slightly crackly effect on the singing gives the vocals this low-fi aesthetic which makes it a whole lot rawer, yet the rest of the instruments are tremendously produced with a beautifully deep drum sound carrying us through the album.
I’ve said this before but sometimes it’s nice to just go back to the “old school.” I’m all for advancing metal, but who doesn’t like a short album of furious energy that is as relevant now as it would have been back in the 80’s.
October 25, 2013 – Most of Europe
October 28, 2013 UK/World
October 29, 2013 North America