TOXIC HOLOCAUST erupted into more mainstream popularity with “An Overdose Of Death”, but their style doesn’t necessarily provoke a wide range fan base. Thusly, with their fourth album “Conjure And Command," this American Blackened Thrash band went the other way towards a more aggressive and raw tone…pleasing its already won over fans.
Owing more than their fair share to the ideologies of long time underground act VENOM, TOXIC HOLOCAUST establishes their Rock 'N' Roll attitude and ignites it with an old school Thrash aggression that is enrobed with some of that Black Metal rawness. The production is gritty and raw and adds a certain low class splendor to their sound too. The riff focus of Rock N Roll injected Thrash chugs is partnered to near perfection with an underlined and almost inaudible bass and chaotic drum attack. “Conjure And Command” balances it so well, that it just might be the best release from TOXIC. Whether it’s the more mid-tempo dinosaur riff laden “I Am Disease” or the speed demon opener “Judgment Awaits," this is TOXIC HOLOCAUST doing what they do best – ripping through catchy/Thrashy tunes guaranteed to mosh to.
Despite the intensity that this description might invoke, the music on “Conjure And Command” is a moshing time of semi-tongue-in-cheek approaches to the style. It’s well played and even better written though. Spitting some rather hilariously dark lyrical content (including the song “Bitch”) with his snarling a raspy vocal attack, Joel Grind (who is the main writer/singer/guitarist of the band) blends the fist first musical attack with some great vocal/lyrical work that makes this album even better than imagined.
For those willing to look past the new Thrash movement and some of its redundancy, TOXIC HOLOCAUST is a pure winner and “Conjure And Command” is their statement of authority in the niche. It owes quite a bit towards that classic VENOM sound (so those looking to replace the mediocre albums from that band as of late should look here), but it refines it for a modern swift kick to the teeth.
Songs to check out: “Judgment Awaits You," “Nowhere To Run," “In The Depths (Of Your Mind)."
(Online September 28, 2011)