Review: Toxic Holocaust – Primal Future: 2019

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Six years ago, thrash outfit Toxic Holocaust released their last album Chemistry of Consciousness; since then, the band has been relatively quiet aside from the stray tour here and there. That changed last Friday with the release of their new album, Primal Future: 2019. The thrash metal scene is very different now than it was six years ago, has Toxic Holocaust remained relevant despite their extended absence?

For the unfamiliar, Toxic Holocaust formed in 1999 in Portland, Oregon. The band is the creation of Joel Grind, the one consistent member of the lineup. Toxic Holocaust’s sound is thrash metal, with some dashes of punk and speed metal thrown in for good measure. While the band usually tours as a three-piece, the writing and recording is often done solely by Joel Grind. Although the last two albums were recorded as a three-piece, Joel Grind decided to make the recording of Primal Future: 2019 a one man enterprise. This is the first Toxic Holocaust album since 2008’s An Overdose of Death…to be recorded as a one man project. So where does this leave the new album?

From the first note of “Chemical Warlords” it’s clear that Toxic Holocaust hasn’t reinvented itself with this release. As the album continues, very few surprises are thrown the listener’s way; in fact, hints of previous songs on previous albums can be heard throughout. However, one song does stand out for being a little different—the last track on the album “Cybernetic War,” which encompasses both a galloping sound, and also a certain emotiveness. This track is easily my favorite on the album.

The album is enjoyable, but it is also expected. That is perhaps the album’s biggest weakness; it’s not forgettable but their isn’t much that reaches out and grabs your attention. On the other hand, there’s nothing to really dislike about this album. It’s a metal palette cleanser. Every song makes you want to headbang, even if nothing stands out. It’s an album you will constantly mention enjoying, even if you can’t remember a favorite song.

Where does this leave the new album? While I can’t find anything to really praise it for, I do find it to be an enjoyable thrash metal record. In fact, it’s probably one of the most enjoyable thrash albums I’ve listened to in months. Since there is nothing particularly bad about the album and I enjoy it, I give this album

4/5 Flaming Toilets ov Hell

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