Well, it was only a matter of time before my favorite underground Thrash Metal act would be back for more slaughtering and laughter but even I didn’t expect a new album this soon. So when I found out that it had already been released; I quickly threw in my two cents and ordered a copy. After their surprisingly awesome debut, I was curious to see if the band could top the energy, humor, and pure Thrashiness that was “Necromantic Maelstrom”. I guess one can say that they did at least in a few ways.
“Toxic Zombie Onslaught” has LICH KING continuing on in their own direction with amazing song writing and a tongue firmly planted in cheek lyrics. To say that the music on this sophomore effort is better than their debut is difficult to articulate. Honestly, I loved the first release so much that this one could match it but it’s hard to say that it’s ‘better’. They rip through tons of massive riffs, finger bleeding solos and leads, energetic Punk drumming patterns, buoyant bass work (when I could hear it), and goofy yet very Thrashy vocals. It’s just as fun and amazing as their first album definitely.
This is what the band did before and they don’t really change their style at all. It’s go for the throat and that is the way the band wants it. The band seems to be the proudest Thrash band I’ve ever heard (a good portion of this album is claiming how LICH KING/Thrash Metal are the greatest things to grace this Earth much to my enjoyment) and they are out to prove this point. Despite some off the wall lyrical themes and approaches the music is mature and well written and it just counterbalances everything beautifully. It’s a combination that worked for early EXODUS and the like and LICH KING make it work still.
What really makes this album better than its predecessor is the production values. Finally we can hear the lyrics over the odd echo they had before and although it’s not the cleanest sounding mix or production, its heads over tails better than what they had before. At least I can hear the separate instruments without giving myself an aneurism, which I prefer. It’s rough still but it carries that old school Thrash charm I’m sure that the band was aiming for.
LICH KING is just simply one of the best Thrash Metal bands out there. Although they must think very highly of themselves, their arrogance in the music does pay off in the end, and their song writing backs every word. “Toxic Zombie Onslaught” is everything a Thrash Metalhead would love – excessiveness in every aspect. Including awesomeness.
Songs to check out: “Attack Of The Wrath Of The War Of The Death Of The Strike Of The Sword Of The Blood Of The Beast”, “Thrash Resurgence”, “Lich King II”.
(Online December 29, 2008)