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Evil Never Dies
Released: 2003, Witches Brew
Formed in 1999, US-based Toxic Holocaust is a one-man band featuring the talents of Joel Grind. Joel handles all instruments and vocals. For a one-man outfit, I gotta hand it to him, this is pretty impressive. If you are familiar with material from the Witches Brew label you might know what to expect here when they say this band is “blackened thrash metal”. It means that is what you’ll get…not any silly hardcore posing as thrash or goth posing as black metal…just the real deal.
Even though I liked this album a fair bit, I do have some issues or some constructive criticisms to make but it’s nothing that can’t be overcome with some minor changes. The album opens with "Evil Never Dies" which is a Venom-ish sounding intro with evil Orc grunts and a rumbling bass combined with a cymbal crash. This lasts for a bit over a minute before "Evil Never DIIIIIEEEEESSSS" is gurgled out. This makes way for "War is Hell". For the first song on the album it immediately grabbed me with the brilliant guitar tone and riffing. This is very crunchy and sounds a lot like the guitar sound on the first Slayer album. The riff here is also like old Slayer with perhaps a touch of Sacrifice. The vocals are suitably aggressive and evil enough, but they are monotone lacking the highs and lows of old Slayer (as an example). The song's outro riff was killer but should have gone on for about another minute and had an insane ripping guitar solo from hell. Besides that, this song kicks the album off to a fine start. Up next is the juvenile titled "Enemy of Jesus" which again has great riffing and lots of the rapid (boom-tap-boom-tap etc..) drumming used by any good thrash band. "Damned to Fire" again has excellent catchy old school thrash riffing. The song is a bit short at just a hair over 2 mins. Besides that, more great stuff. "Exxxecutioner" has drums at the beginning that play a pattern a lot like "Helpless" (made popular by Metallica on Garage Days). Track 6 on the album is appropriately entitled "666". Unfortunately is a tad too short and lacks a solo. “Summon The Beast" starts our slower with some cool riffing. Again, the lyrics here are primitive and need an overhaul. For example: "satanic mass, 666, guiding your life" uh huh...right. At least make it amusing if you don't make it serious. This is the point in the album where my attention wandered due to a severe lack of diversity. "Demise" didn’t grab me at all and "Warfare" has the exact same tempo again...mix it up please! At the 1:29 mark into the song it changes tempo finally...for 10 secs! Then there is "Dead to the World" with the same tempo yet again...ugh! "Fallout" was ok and the album closer, "Atomik Destruktor", was cool with its scream at the intro in an "Angel of Death" way. There should be more of these things on here with varied vocals…but all around a decent song.
The bottom line here is that although this is good stuff for a one-man band, the fact that it is only one person playing and writing everything is also a drawback when song ideas become recycled. If Toxic Holocaust would get a vocalist in the band that has more then one singing style they would be well on their way. Other areas to improve would be the lyrics department and the lead guitars need work. Once that is done this unpolished diamond in the rough could become a winner.
1. Evil Never Dies
2. War is Hell
3. Enemy of Jesus
4. Damned to Fire
7. Summon The Beast
10. Dead to the World
13. Atomik Destruktor
Joel Grind – guitars, drums, bass, vocals, etc.
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