TOXIC HOLOCAUST might be considered one of the bigger revivalist Thrash bands, but truth be told they were one of the first to set the standard. However people claim they came to be in this position, one thing is for sure: it’s because of the hard work and relentless drive of mastermind Joel Grind. This hard work and endless perfection of the TOXIC HOLOCAUST sound is bared for all to see on this B-sides compilation “From The Ashes Of Nuclear Destruction.” One that may not be the best material of their career, but it’s a great little glimpse into how this band got to be where they are today.
This American Thrash act was always known for their dirty Rock N Roll vibes, Blackened aesthetics, and relentless Thrash energy, but the material included on this compilation takes that to a new level. Comprised of various demos, B-sides, and a handful of EP tracks, “From The Ashes Of Nuclear Destruction” plays out more as a love letter to the fans than it does as a ‘good’ release. These aren’t songs meant to make you adore the band – they were cut or re-recorded for some obvious reasons – but as a fan it’s a blast to hear some of these rarities.
From this collection, it’s obvious that TOXIC HOLOCAUST has had a very distinct style from day one. The fast Thrash riffing, the bouncing Rock N Roll grooves, and Grind’s unique rasping snarls are all intact on every damn one of these tracks and songs like “Metal Attack” or “Ready To Fight” are strong enough that they might have made an album cut if tightened a bit. Yet more often than not, the B-side status of these tracks become apparent in a bit of the repetitiveness and hum drum writing. An even bigger issue can be the drastic change up of production value from song to song. “Altar-ed States,” the demo for “Bitch,” and “We Bring Em Hell” are most obviously recorded under better circumstances and it makes some of the lower quality tracks like “Arise From The Cemetery” sound abysmal in production comparison. It makes for a roller coaster sounding ride that ranges from impressive to cringe worthy in production values.
Then again, “From The Ashes Of Nuclear Destruction” is for fans. It’s a glimpse further into the insane mindset of Grind as proof of the work he put into making TOXIC HOLOCAUST one of the best newer Thrash acts out there and as a long time fan, it’s a great little collector’s item to add to my collection. It’s a compilation only for fans, but if you consider yourself within that group…it’s a fun and enlightening release.
(Online April 16, 2013)