Thrash Metal has always been one of my favorite Metal subgenres, and so I always take delight in searching for long lost, obscure Thrash bands from the 80s. About a year ago I found a copy of this album in a seedy second hand store – and having already read about the pedigree of this underrated Thrash band’s work, I was quite enthused to hear what all the fuss was about. But just some background first…
The band was formed in ’85 under the name TOKYO and a couple of years later the name change to TOXIK took place. They released their debut, “World Circus”, in 1989 and a year later their sophomore effort dropped, impressing many a fan of technical, “brainy” Thrash! Unfortunately the band broke up in ’92 but rumors are doing the rounds that some new TOXIK material may be expected in the future… Anyway, this album is a mini masterpiece on its own, and the album that really established the band as a viable and exciting Metal band during their brief existence. The title track open up the album, and it is a monster! Clean sounding riffs are soon backed up my super speedy double bass and a catchy groove that will make you bounce off the walls! The lyrics deal with the way in which the media can brainwash people and the way in which it helps shape popular opinion – this is a common thread running through all the songs here. “There Stood The Fence” is a ballad type song that is, surprisingly, not bad at all, while other standout moments include the LED ZEPPELIN cover (“Out On The Tiles”), and the speedy “Shotgun Logic”.
As far as late 80s technical Thrash/Speed releases go this one is hard to top. Charles Sabin has that high-pitched wail nailed, while guitarists Josh Christian and John Donnelly are super proficient in their field – riffing all over the place while still maintaining a high degree of tightness and melody. But the real hero of this band has to be the skinsman Tad Leger – just listen to his double-bass on the title track and you’ll know why.
So overall a great effort from a much missed band.
PS – rumor has it that that Christian has been writing some new TOXIK material… (Online August 25, 2006)