Album Review: Toxic Holocaust – “Primal Future: 2019”
Toxic Holocaust – Primal Future: 2019
Release Date: 4 October 2019
Since 2013, miscreants and reprobates (along with a few good people I suppose…) have awaited Toxic Holocaust’s follow up to their fifth full-length the Chemistry of Consciousness. As of October 4th, that wait is over! For those tuning in who are unfamiliar with this band, they are perhaps the thrash equivalent of what straight-ahead is to jazz. Founder and main songwriter Joel Grind is a well-informed musician. He incorporates multiple genres including punk, rock n’ roll, and even early black metal. This gives the band a rather discernable sound compared to similar groups. Make no mistake, this isn’t a fucking jazz album… It’s a sheet of steel encased in neon ubiquity!
Moving onto the record, my favorite tune on Primal Future: 2019: “Deafened by the Roar”. The guitar rhythms are reminiscent of old-school Sepultura… Even how Joel annunciates the title in the chorus reminds me of Max Cavalera. I’m not sure if this homage was intentional, but it added gusto to the record nevertheless. Another tune that surprised me (the most, perhaps) was the last, “Cybernetic War”. It has rad heavy metal jam from parts unknown… with riffage up the fucking rectum and a dissonant sample at the end that’ll make teeth crack from the tension.
On the flip side, two songs that didn’t impress me were “Iron Cage” and “Chemical Warlords”. Not only do both of these songs sound similar to previous material, but they’re also similar to one another. It gives off a lackadaisical vibe that is hard to shake at first.
In contrast to albums predeceasing it, the mix of this record is a lot warmer. Less bright and bite, instead lusher and gushier. This gives Primal Future: 2019 a hip retro vibe, even though the concept of the record is a Dystopian Society set in the present… Although there’s some absent sting, the drums are still crisp and clear, decibels are cranked… you get the works!
Another aspect of the mix worth mentioning is Joel Grind’s vocals. Going backward in their catalog, a more raspy fry, and less distinctive lyrics. There is still a ton of reverb present in releases such as Hell on Earth. With that being said, Joel’s voice has become more clear over the past few Toxic Holocaust records. Those vocal effects have never been as prevalent as they are in Primal Future:2019. The same goes for guitar time effects. They can frankly be distracting at times, but nothing gets too overpoweringly saturated (Slippery when wet, indeed… If you were expecting dingy and dry, you came to the wrong fuck palace!)
Synopsis of ‘Primal Future: 2019’
I thoroughly enjoyed this record! As stated before, there was a song or two that didn’t strike a chord. That shouldn’t deter you from buying it. In fact, If you have the means, I highly recommend getting this record on vinyl. Bands like Toxic Holocaust put hard fucking work into their mixes. They were even nice enough to have them pressed and sent to your favorite record stores! Also, the consideration that Toxic put into their artwork, the gatefold, the inserts… and you know that record isn’t black (no way…) In short, support badass bands like Toxic Holocaust by buying physical merchandise. Don’t forget to check out the rest of their catalog as well!
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A new play by award-winning playwright Anatole France, “Toxic Holocaust” revolves around the repercussions of a biological weapon exploded in Los Angeles during a Cuban Missile Crisis. With tension running high between North and South Korea due to a potential military clash, America’s involvement in the Korean War is also at a high-point. A top secret laboratory is set up in New York City to test the effects of chemical weapons on human volunteers. The tests prove the unthinkable – these weapons can kill humans. As the government keeps the test results classified, neither side ever considers the option of negotiating peace until one man with a personal reason for helping those in need steps in.