Tuesday, September 16, 2008



These guys hail from Norway and are not to be confused with 80's New Jersey thrashers Toxik. That first line was all that I really felt comfortable about writing after several days of trying to work something out. That's right, I was sure of that one line and that was about it. I started working on this review days ago, I played it several times and then scrapped what I started writing. I agonized over it, okay maybe that’s an exaggeration because writing reviews is fun and agony is not so I never truly agonized over writing a review. Perhaps I was puzzled, yes that’s a little more accurate but that doesn't totally explain it. I played this CD getting an immediate sense of kind of 90’s metal at first yet I know that wasn’t completely accurate and something was nagging at me to keep listening to this to try and sort things out. The sound here is basic in that the music being played is not exactly complex yet the influences were a trifle more difficult to pin down. After like seven plays I began sweep the smoke away and see what was really going on back there. I think at the heart of many of the songs presented here is a large of chunk of 70’s metal maybe Sabbath for one as a prime influence. Then perhaps even some hints of Bang and Pentagram but more 1980’s Pentagram. I think I was at first lead in one direction by the sharp production, but really once I was able to concentrate the realization came to me that these guys are far more subtle than they at first appear. Okay, maybe I am riding around in circles here, but it’s like they come on with huge bursts and then once in the song they settle into a somewhat different direction that’s far more winding. They also go through definite shifts as the guitar is the focus and then they cut to where your attention is riveted on the vocals and each part just drags you along. The more I listened to this CD the more I realized that they were doing so much and I also became much more appreciative of what they were accomplishing. It's like opening a small present and getting far more than you first imagined. On several occasions Toxic start out like a pounding type of band, but then they turn and become far more of an involved, storytelling kind of band. Both aspects work with each other and they manage to present a strong balance as well. This was a tough nut to crack as far as me trying to interpret all that was happening yet it was certainly worth all the energy and time I spent on it. Now I know what they are doing and with that realization I can continue to reach in and really enjoy the precision and all of the aspects that these guys tied into this one.


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