CD Review: “Primal Future: 2019” by Toxic Holocaust

Joel Grind’s one man thrashing project Toxic Holocaust has returned to lay waste to the band with devastating d-beat and bellicose, thrashing riffs on album six, Primal Future: 2019. Album opener “Chemical Warlords” is a vicious track that is equal parts Discharge and Carnivore. Grind harshly shrieks about a ravenous horde with the simple goal of annihilating everything in their wake. “Black Out The Code” continues the assault initiated by “Warlords,” with its pummeling drums and faster tempos. The chaotic, yet bluesy guitar lead heightens the intensity of this track. “Deafened By The Roar” is the shortest track on the record, 90 seconds of head banging hardcore and nothing less. A short burst energy to that segues in to the album’s second half. “Time’s Edge” is notable for its slicing riffs and catchy chorus over relentless percussion. The title track is a galloping mid tempo beast that feels like a cyborg unleashed on humanity. There is a nice transition towards the final third of the song that things to a battered conclusion. “Controlled By Fear” has a suppressed feeling throughout the track’s duration, which compliments the song title. This submissive attitude is broken on the following track “Aftermath” which is full on thrash with lumbering riffs and Joel’s signature gruff vocals. Album closer “Cybernetic War” is somewhat primitive and slightly disjointed, accentuating the lyrics of nuclear war. There is a haze of shock and confusion on this track with wayward sounding riffs and a creepy robotic effect at the song’s end. Humanity better shape up.

Primal Future: 2019 is 39 minutes of crossover thrash played right. The resurgence of traditional metal’s popularity has unfortunately lead to a heap of mediocre albums that fail to capture the spirit of crossover and trash. Luckily Joel Grind is back to show the new generation how it is done. There are riffs a plenty and fast paced drums, however there is a depth of complexity to it all. Crossover is noted as the intersection of hardcore and thrash. The music was fast, but not overly technical, precise yet a bit sloppy. Joel captures those elusive elements on Primal with successful results.

Fans of Toxic Holocaust will enjoy Primal Future as it is certainly worth the wait. Over half the tracks on this album are great additions to the band’s set list. Fans of thrash and crossover should also check out this album for a dose of apocalyptic headbanging fun. The future may be dim, but Toxic Holocaust provides the perfect soundtrack to mankind’s demise.

Check out Joel Grind’s official website:

http://joelgrind.com/

CD Review: ‘Mass Confusion’ by Dust Bolt

German thrash outfit Dust Bolt cut to the chase on Mass Confusion. The opening track, “Sick X Brain” is one minute of full on crossover thrash. The blitzkrieg rages on with the title track which starts with chugging riffs before the band launches a thrash onslaught. There are strains of Metallica, Dirty Rotten Imbeciles, and Destruction on this track, showing the versatility of the band. The pummeling breakdown in the middle of this song is gold. The initial single, “Allergy” is a frantic riff tornado that that gives the listener little room to breathe. Things get a hectic on “Mind The Gap” with its time signature changes, but drummer Nico Remann keeps it all together. It is one of the more interesting tracks on the record especially with its shredding lead. “Exit” is a somber semi-acoustic number that breaks up the ferocity of the record. It is not filler and prevents the record from sounding monotonous.

Mass Confusion is thrash metal played right. The Teutonic quartet has done its homework, drawing influence from the thrash and hardcore groups of the 80s. Mass Confusion is not too crossover or too thrash and finds a solid median. The musicianship is top notch as guitarists Lenny Breuss and Flo Dehn play well with each other. The duo seamlessly trade riffs and keep a tight rhythm. The album is produced well as there is no clipping and the instruments do not bleed in to one another.

Dust Bolt were not confused when recording Mass Confusion. The band has all its marbles on this, its third record, and plays them well. Mass Confusion is a great thrash/crossover record that is a cut above the current but stale thrash revival scene. The band puts its own unique spin on an older subgenre to good results. Fans of The Haunted, Municipal Waste and Toxic Holocaust should pick up this record. Dust Bolt bring the speed.

For news and tour dates, check out Dust Bolt’s website: http://dustbolt.com/