Toxic Holocaust

An Overdose Of Death...

Written by: EW on 20/08/2008 22:24:44

Toxic Holocaust, the one-man Thrash band from Oregon of nearly 10 years now, are here to deliver you a full-frontal Thrash assault on their/Joel Grind's third full length "An Overdose Of Death...", resplendent as it is in massive punk vibe and swagger of all things metal. The key difference here between recent reviews of 'new' thrash bands like Bonded By Blood and Gama Bomb (though Joel Grind may take cumbrance at being grouped with such bands when he's being going at it since 1999) is the colossal influence gleamed from punk gods Discharge and their 1982 classic "Hear Nothing See Nothing Say Nothing". Album opener "Wild Dogs" instantly speeds along at a gallop Discharge could well have used back in their glory days and despite the emergence of other influences as the album progresses, it is this one which is the most over-riding and a good indicator of who might be interested in this band and album. "Gravelord", "The Lord Of The Wasteland" and "Feedback, Blood And Distortion", all featuring the immortally-cool d-beat reputably innovated by Discharge, and their random guitar squeals are classic Discharge, though of course lacking the brilliant nihilistic vibe I get from every listen of "Hear Nothing...".

Despite all this "An Overdose Of Death..." is not purely a Discharge rip-off and has numerous 80s Thrash influences brought to a modern age and style by Toxic Holocaust rather like their contemporaries Municipal Waste. Nuclear Assault-ian groove is aplenty in "Endless Armageddon", as well as the politically infused lyrics right across the album which Dan Lilker and co. were famous for back in the 80s. "Future Shock" kicks off in NWOBHM tones, and in other instances too, more than a hint of Saxon and Accept can be heard, heralding "An Overdose Of Death" as an album for the whole family - a family that of course consisting of hardcore punk, NWOBHM and thrash fans. So none. Never mind, "City Of A Million Graves" is a proper thrashing thrasher and is so distinctly setting off alarm bells in my head of some old classic that I can't actually remember what it is - most likely something off "Kill 'Em All", or some old Sodom track. Either way it's all stuff you should already own so find it out for yourself!

As has been the case with nearly all the albums of the new thrash generation I have heard, an individual identity, or lack of, is the biggest drawback, as is a production that by no means bad just doesn't compare to the greatness of the likes of "Hear Nothing...", "Kill 'Em All" or "Agent Orange" (Sodom). Toxic Holocaust are far from the least generic of the new generation of thrashers, helped enormously by Joel Grind's crusty vocals, and "An Overdose Of Death..." will definitely go down as a good record but won't ever reach the status of the classics mentioned in this review. Perhaps as one of my favourite Doom bands once said, some people were just 'born too late'...


Download: War Is Hell, Nuke The Cross, City Of A Million Graves
For The Fans Of: Discharge, Municipal Waste, Metallica (old)
Listen: Myspace

Release date 08.09.2008
Relapse Records

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