The brainchild of Joel Grind, Toxic Holocaust are back with their sixth album, ‘Primal Future: 2019’, and this effort see shim returning to the approach of the project’s early albums; recording every instrument himself.
‘Chemical Wounds’ opens the album as you’d expect, very much in the 1980s thrash metal mould, with a slight punk influence, and ‘Black Out The Code’ very much follows in the same vein.
As is the case with any Toxic Holocaust album, it’s best to go into this knowing that you shouldn’t expect anything that’s going to make an attempt at reinventing the wheel. This is very much thrash metal 101, and your enjoyment of this will be based on how much of a natural mark you are for this sound.
‘New World Beyond’ has some interesting soundscapes that open up the song, before the slight punk influence comes back in, and the half-time chorus, coupled with gang vocals, at least helps to bring a sense of fun. ‘Defeaned By The Roar’, only a minute and a half in length, wastes no time in making its presence known.
However, it’s possible that you’ve heard what the entire album has to offer early on, and this should be obvious, but when up against some more contemporary bands flying the flag for thrash metal, such as Power Trip, there’s frankly no contest.
At least ‘Time’s Edge’ has commendable energy, which is testament given that this is essentially a studio project, and some of the guitar solos at least up the ante. ‘Primal Future’ is another better offering, with some soundscapes luring us in before its immediate gallop comes in, musically very much singing from the gospel according to ‘For Whom The Bell Tolls’.
By-and-large, this is a solid effort, but Grind‘s limitations become more and more obvious as the record goes on. ‘Cybernetic War’ perhaps isn’t the epic closer it was intended to be. The song drags on, reaching four-and-a-half-minutes in length, followed by another minute of synth sounds, which is an idea that feels tacked on for the sake of it.
Joel Grind‘s single-mindedness is admirable, as it has been for twenty years now. While the workman-like nature of ‘Primal Future: 2019’ makes for a largely one-dimensional listen, there are enough moments that you’ll want to head bang along. If you just want no nonsense thrash metal, you’ll certainly enjoy this, but just don’t switch this on and expect to have your mind blown.