Monday, October 8, 2012

Initial Impressions: Toxic Holocaust: Conjure and Command

Toxic Holocaust has always appealed to me.  They play a style of metal that is cobbled together from influences like Celtic Frost, Bathory, Venom, and early Sodom.  It's blackened thrash metal with a definite punk attitude.  This is music that is appealing to people who remember the early 1980's underground metal and miss the rawness and the attitude from that time period.

Toxic Holocaust has been a one-man band until very recently.  This is Joel Grind's baby and he has shaped it into the blackened thrash beast that it currently is.  He now has additional members taking over at bass and drums but Grind is definitely still in command.

Toxic Holocaust's last album, An Overdose of Death made my Top 10 albums of the year in 2008.  Since that time I have looked into some of their other past recordings.  Overdose still stands out as the band's best full-length album even after this one.  That is not to say that this is a bad release at all, far from it, but it is missing something that its predecessor had.

This is still infectious blackened thrash with a punk edge but perhaps the songs are not quite as catchy.  The production is also a little muddier this time around.  This album comes off as more of a deep underground release than the somewhat more polished previous album.  Perhaps that was intentional.  Toxic Holocaust is not music meant for mainstream consumption after all.  Maybe this was a calculated effort.

I still quite enjoy this release.  It is a little bit of a letdown from their last one, but it is still a very impressive release from a band that plays a style I really enjoy.

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