TOXIC HOLOCAUST
"Overdose Of Death"

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01. Wild Dogs
02. Nuke The Cross
03. Endless Armageddon
04. Future Shock
05. War Game
06. In The Name Of Science
07. March From Hell
08. Gravelord
09. War Is Hell
10. The Lord Of The Wasteland
11. Feedback, Blood, and Distortion
12. Death From Above
13. City Of A Million Graves

RATING: 7/10

Forget the retro-thrash resurgence; TOXIC HOLOCAUST is the real shit. Born way back in '99 (before speed metal riffs and VENOM t-shirts were cool again), this Portland, OR-based outfit is as furiously old-school as any of the Bay Area newbies could hope to be on their best day. Not to take anything away from the WARBRINGERs or AVENGER OF BLOODs out there, as they and their contemporaries have made one hell of an impact and in some respects offer a bit more from a songwriting standpoint, but TOXIC HOLOCAUST main man (hell, only man for that matter as he handled all musical and vocal duties), Joel Grind brings with him a teeth-grinding vibe that these kids today just don't quite provide.

Musically, "Overdose Of Death" is pure blackened and punked-up thrash glory. TOXIC HOLOCAUST owes as much to bands like SODOM and POSSESSED as they do to the crossover of DISCHARGE and D.R.I. No matter which corner of the '80s underground he's coming from and how well he ties them all together, the two words which best describe Grind's primal riffage would be relentless and infectious. Opener "Wild Dogs" is attitude incarnate, while "Nuke The Cross" and "War Game" add blistering shards of early death metal to the mix. Even shades of rock 'n' roll (albeit a very apocalyptic brand of rock) are tossed in liberally during "Gravelord" and "City Of A Million Graves"; the former sounding like MOTÖRHEAD jamming with a "Killing Is My Business"-era MEGADETH. Replace Tom Araya's banshee-like screams with Grind's gruff bark and the influence of SLAYER's salad days can be heard all over "War Is Hell". Of course, all of this really goes without saying as you could name-drop just about any group of long-haired thrashers who released an album in between '81 and '86 and you'd find comparison to TOXIC HOLOCAUST.

So if we've all heard everything that "Overdose Of Death" has to offer, then why should any of us be drawn to it? The answer is simple; because this raw, speed-addled and rage-filled aggression is the life's blood which courses through the veins of the metal genre. While Joel Grind's TOXIC HOLOCAUST may not go down in history as thrash metal's savior, it does serve well to remind us all why it's so fun to be pissed off.

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