Toxic Holocaust – Conjure and Command, 2011
With the Thrash revival of the early naughties fast becoming a distant memory in music land it is becoming apparent that many of the bands that appeared to have potential with a fantastic début release were really thrash in the pan (see what I did there) artists that all but fizzled out after a dreary second release. There are however a handful of acts that have matured with age and not only survived the second or third releases but have gone from strength to strength. One such band is Portland’s one man band Toxic Holocaust who have unleashed their fourth, and first major label, full length release; Conjure and Command.
This release sees Joel Grind return to what he does best and that is heads down full on proto-thrash with huge helpings of proto-black and death with even more hardcore and d-beat punk influences thrown in for good measure.
The album song wise is a relentless slice of thrash which can leave the listener struggling for breath at points, perfectly show cased on the album opener which hits full speed before you’ve even noticed you’ve pressed play. This release also sees the band take their foot off the accelerator with some slower, more thing that should not be, tempo songs such as I Am Disease which is a welcome change to full on speed and allows the listener to gather his bearings before being plunged back into break neck speeds. The album also features less tracks then the previous offering, but in the same play length, which is good to see as the previous offering with its huge track listing could seem a little daunting at times.
This is the first release Toxic holocaust have put out that features a full band rather then Joel Grind playing all the instruments himself and the quality of playing is top notch. Joel’s vocals sound better then ever and he pulls of some ripping solos and catchy riffs whilst the rest of the band sound tight and well rehearsed. The production on the album is, for me, the perfect production sound for a metal album. All of the instruments are clear to hear without sounding polished or plastic. The drums feel thick and heavy, with no hint of clicky bass drum (the WORST thing to ever happen to metal) the guitar tone is absolutely fantastic, verging on the perfect metal tone and the bass cuts through the mix filling in the bottom end nicely.
All in all this a fantastic coming of age album from a band that has gone from strength to strength and not only does it show case the talents of one of the best thrash/speed metal bands to appear in recent years it also perfectly shows how a good, well produced metal album should sound.
About this entry
You’re currently reading “Toxic Holocaust – Conjure and Command, 2011,” an entry on Scrutinizing The Steel
- August 7, 2011 / 11:05 am