Toxic Holocaust - Primal Future: 2019

Toxic Holocaust Primal Future: 2019 cover
Toxic Holocaust
Primal Future: 2019
Entertainment One
Grinding can always get you, somewhere and who’s better proof of that than the Yank known as Joel Grind. He started Toxic Holocaust as a one man band project and proceeded to put out albums every once so often (sidelined by countless splits), performing live with a revolving cast of musicians. The vision and scope of has been clear and unaltered since the beginning some fifteen years or so ago, but all the efforts only seemed to bear fruit in the last decade, as the band started really getting noticed after the release of “An Overdose of Death”.
What Toxic Holocaust does is try to evoke and copy the sound of bands like Venom and early Sodom. There’s a real appreciation for the simple riffs and tennis elbow drumming that was the order of the day in the early 80s and along with the hellish super reverbed vocals you’re definitely gonna feel like you’ve been put into a time machine that spit you outside of Impulse studios at some point in the early 80s.
“Chemical Warlords” is precisely what the doctor ordered with riffs that early Running Wild would have been proud to call their own, if they are not, theirs anyway.
The problem that quickly becomes apparent is the fact that the band is a one trick pony. “Black Out the Code” thrashes a little wilder, but is basically more of the same with a marginally flashier solo (that might be effective, but ain’t really too impressive).
“New World Beyond” hardly changes things, other than slightly lowering the tempo and making things a little heavier, in a piece that particularly reeks of Venom.
“Deafened by the Roar” tries to alter the course a bit, but ultimately the echoing vocals, while they come close, they don’t have the same charm and conviction of say Cronos, which is not exactly setting the bar very high.
“Time’s Edge” driven by its Slayerish steamrolling riff fares marginally better, while the title track with its slower plod, changes the pace sufficiently, but fails to impress.
The uncontrollable attack of “Iron Cage” feels like a mix of Philthy Motorhead and “Endless Pain” era Kreator and although in theory that should sound appealing, it’s mostly effective, because it follows a far slower song, rather than because it’s insanely good in its own right.
“Controlled by Fear” mixes in its slithering pot, early Sodom and Venom until it’s disgusting bile bubbles and spills over.
“Aftermath” is one part Motorhead’s “Rock n Roll” and one part Sodom at their most European.
Maybe the weirdest song and probably a bit of an afterthought is “Cybernetic War”, a somewhat more involved composition for Toxic Holocaust that however is far off from being characterized as complicated or exotic, although some of its leads sound quite inspired.
Sounding like shit going through a meat grinder, it’s a little surprising that this bass booming piece of nostalgia was recorded in 2019 but it’s the fact. Hardly evolved at all in the duration of their existence, Toxic Holocaust are the proud inheritors of Sodom and Venom, despite both of those bands still being active today. They might not be as good as they were, but they do scratch the particular itch that fans of those bands might have in a really big way. If you like your metal simple, streetwise and without any further ambitions this will do very nicely.