Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Toxic Holocaust-Conjure And Command

Relapse Records

Portland, Oregon's Toxic Holocaust were one of the first new wave of thrash bands to emerge in the late 90's. Started more or less as a one-man thrash band, with Joel Grind recording the studio albums completely by himself while bringing in various musicians to help out when playing the material live, the band has evolved to include extra musicians when warranted. While he was largely influenced by punk rock and heavy metal bands such as Metallica, Slayer, Exodus, Black Flag, Discharge, S.O.D., Motörhead, Kreator, Destruction, Sodom, Celtic Frost, Venom, Possessed, Rigor Mortis, Testament and Death his early music mostly sounded like classic German thrash. Maybe it was his rough style of singing but despite being from Portland, Oregon (of all places) for many of us reviewers (including one of my favorite sites BNR Metal) the music brought to mind acts like Sodom and Kreator. Nothing bad about that just curious because of his admitted influences and where he hails from. With each passing album though Joel Grind has grew as both a musician and song-writer. "Conjure And Command" really isn't 100% original as you can still gather pieces of Metallica, Slayer, S.O.D, Sodom and Exodus but man if it isn't some of the best thrash I've heard in quite sometime and a improvement over his last full-length release, 2008's "An Overdose of Death". The promo doesn't list a line-up so I'll have to reference the Metal Archives here. They list Philthy Gnaast (Phil Zeller) as the bassist (Rammer, Kingdom of Sorrow) and Nikki Rage (Nick Bellmore who has spent time in Kingdom of Sorrow and Phantoms) as the drummer. The lyrics are typical heavy metal subjects (death, despair, destruction and damnation) but the music sounds like a rampaging rhino. Heavy, loud, speed-tinged and punk amplified this is one not to miss. It is so good to still be able to hear classic thrash and to see it done right.


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