If there is one thing that can be said about TOXIC HOLOCAUST and their respective discography, it’s that they stick to their guns through and through. So when it comes to writing a review on their latest album “Chemistry Of Consciousness,” it’s a fair bet to say that if you are reading this because you like the band then you should just go out and purchase the damn thing. TOXIC HOLOCAUST isn’t throwing any curve balls for their fifth full length and fans are gonna love it.
For those more discerning fans or newcomers to the band who have continued reading, let’s get down to just how “Chemistry Of Consciousness” fits into the grander scheme of the TOXIC HOLOCAUST sound. In many ways, this fifth record is a step back from the raw and total execution of “Conjure And Command.” Upfront one will notice that the production on “Chemistry” might be the best that the band has had thus far, but writing wise the record seems to be more in sync with “An Overdose Of Death” with its vicious riffing and snarling raw vocals.
While there are certainly highlights in the mix, the ferocious “MKUltra” or the fist pumping “Deny The Truth,” there isn’t much beyond the slightly Blackened Thrash norm for a TOXIC HOLOCAUST release here. Joel Grind and company (although obviously the snarling vocalist and guitarist is the driving force here) seem intent on keeping the Punkish energy, the snap drum pacing, and distorted riffing to maximum effect here. While there is occasionally some deviation, like the MOTORHEAD inspired Rock N Roll vibes on “Rat Eater,” there is no experimentation for fans to be worried about.
Once again, if there is any true complaint for me to have with the US Thrashers it would be the relatively formulaic and blended approach to the record. From the short and intense opening of “Awaken The Serpent” to the title track finale, there is little deviation from the source and it can run together terribly if you don’t buy into the distorted headbanging velocity of the band’s style. However, I am more than willing to take a big bite out of it and chew vigorously so it didn’t bother me all that much.
In the end, “Chemistry Of Consciousness” is another stellar record in TOXIC HOLOCAUST’s discography. It’s not out to redefine the band’s style or add anything new to the mix, but when Joel Grind and company continue to pummel out solid Thrash like this, I’m not sure I would want too much change.
(Online October 21, 2013)