Toxic Holocaust

Conjure and Command

Written by: EW on 01/08/2011 22:52:57

With their "An Overdose Of Death…" release of three years ago, crusty thrashers Toxic Holocaust pushed themselves high up the modern thrash tree, their punked up and brash style a nice contrast to the more common all-out thrash attack of most of their contemporaries. New album "Conjure and Command" pushes in a similar vein, which as a quick-fire blast of 32 mins of spiteful thrash is confident in it's abilities yet strangely resistant at breaking beyond the boundaries set by themselves.

Whereas previously I noted a strong Discharge presence in mainman Joel Grind's set up, with a full band behind him in the studio for the first time, the potion is far more stereotypically thrash, at least following the conclusion of snappy opener "Judgment Awaits You". "Agony of the Damned", and "Red Winter" show the band are happy to drop the pace for a moment or two before unleashing the full-frontal assault with Joel's blackened rasp guiding the piece along, but you'll be hard pressed to remember any incidents from them. Through the Sodom-ised "Bitch" and Slayer-derived "Nowhere To Run" TH pen a good riff or two, peaking with some of their riffing bridges as they never letting the nodding relent, but after so many listens now I'm convinced I'm still yet to hear one that would not be the work of any other minor-league thrash band.

When the longest track on the record (at distinctly non-epic proportions of 4'24"), "I Am Disease", promises much with it's menacing start yet fails to build on it's momentum through not attaining the Venom air of punk loutishness it grasps for, the thoughts creep ever further forward that "Conjure and Command" is not the step-up after "An Overdose of Death" the band needed at a time thrash has arguably ridden beyond it's revival peak. Once closing tracks "The Liars Are Burning", "Revelations" and "Sound the Charge" flash by I can't help be stuck by the feeling this could have been so much more had a greater effort been put into the composition of all but a few of the riffs as very little remains lodged in the psyche, even after a good 6-8 listens thus far. Shortened to an EP or injected with a dangerous dose of punk this would have been better but there is not enough going on to improve Toxic Holocaust's standing in the thrash world nor do anything to slow the genre's descent down the hill of burgeoning creativity.


Download: Judgment Awaits You, Bitch
For The Fans Of: Slayer, Municipal Waste, Desaster
Listen: Myspace

Release date: 19.07.2011
Relapse Records

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