Released: 2007, Prison Shank Records
Oozing out of southern California, these self-proclaimed “scumbags” of Neurotoxin offer up their second spine-shattering release in the form of an E.P. titled V.S.L. All unsuspecting souls must prepare themselves for the assault that these four tracks will unleash upon your fragile minds. For Neurotoxin delivers and old school blend of thrash and hardcore that will cause your brain to seep from its once safe shell.
Falling somewhere in the same threatening neighborhood of old thrashers like early Anthrax, Forbidden, or D.R.I., V.S.L. is a tight, well-played, and surprisingly well-produced, onslaught. The opening cut, “Degenerate” is a compact, high-octane burner that has aggressive verse parts that lead to a pre-chorus populated with shouts and a more melodic singing style. After the second shouted chorus, there is a nice breakdown that centers on a surprisingly catchy vocal section that segues into a great guitar solo that is more concerned with being dark and sinister than being virtuosic. The title track has a touch more of their hardcore influences shining through, but the transitions are nice throughout, and the vocal lines are memorable. This track also has some of the more memorable lyrics on the album, for example, “The lights grow dim/a corpse in every home/ a war torn park filled with withered bone/Hearken to a new speech, a tongue of blood and grime/violence reigns and slowly burns away at the hope of reprise.” “Spite” is another straight ahead monster of heaviness, while the E.P.’s closer, “Ghostly Confessor” is a longer and more adventurous track. The latter track is an ominous adventure through sludge that plows along at a slower pace than the other three songs. It features several time changes, including a vile, evil sounding clean guitar section, and one of the offering’s more dexterous guitar solos.
Furious, angry metal is what these guys are about, but they make sure to pack it in a clean sounding package. There are tons of tempo changes throughout the four songs, lots of guitar soloing, memorable vocal lines that are at once aggressive and ear catching. These foul purveyors of insanity are sure to succeed in spreading their message of destruction throughout the world, striking fear into the hearts of those of softer sensibilities.
All those in need of a major ass kicking of old school, well-played thrash/hardcore, should head over to http://www.cdbaby.com
and pick up a copy of V.S.L. today.