Toxic Holocaust
Chemistry of Consciousness
Street: 10.29
Toxic Holocaust = Midnight * Venom + Slayer/Discharge + a dash of Vektor
By now, you know what to expect from Toxic Holocaust: dystopian, post-apocalyptic nuclear-punk black thrash that’s relentless and bent on brutish survival of the fittest à la Road Warrior deathics. I was pleased to hear that Joel Grind didn’t take Chemistry of Consciousness in the way that Conjure and Command hinted at, which, for me, might have been cultic stoner-thrash, but staunchly returned to volatile, acidic ooze and frantic bloodlust. As such, no songs stand out, per se, until “Rat Eater” slams into the mix with a breakdown and chug guitar progressions—but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since one listens to Toxic Holocaust for their specific metal branding. There almost seems to be a political angle on songs like the album’s standout track, “Out of the Fire,” in which Grind growls, “We’ve got the power/We’ve got the fire that will never go out … We’re not under control.” Also note the title track with its quick pickups from palm-muted breakdowns. Pound for pound, this album is the crisp death n’ roll that Toxic Holocaust do best—it’s not different, but it’s solid. –Alexander Ortega