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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Toxic Holocaust - Conjure and Command review

Year : 2011
Genre : Thrash Metal
Label : Relapse Records
Origin : United States
Rating : 6.5 / 10

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Toxic Holocaust delivers an album that approaches its objectives with a notable urge to get the job done as swiftly as possible. With its 37 minutes of larger than life intensity, the spin has a solid chance to pull this mission off successfully. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and not necessarily good, either. While the agenda herein simply is to unleash destruction mode right from the beginning of each and every track, the construction of the path that is leading to destruction, still reigns as one of the most flatterable ingredients of the genre, and also as one you simply will find NONE of on this release. However, if what you want is a thrash metal pill that is armed and ready to take you to the intense side of the style, then this spin might be exactly what you are looking for.

Conjure and Command is instant-, and highly traditional, dare we say, conservative thrash metal, an affair that does everything you will likely conceive as essential requirements to satisfy your anticipations regarding intense thrashing, yet never quite leaves you with the feeling of getting entirely bewildered and satisfied by what you have heard. Take it, this IS what you wanted, isn't it? Here are the ingredients. What is wrong, what more, what else could you want? These are legitimate questions that need to be addressed thoroughly. Read more to find out if there are such things. Or aren't.

Toxic Holocaust attempts to fix your thrash needs by moderate-, and above average efforts, at best. The riffs pack acceptable character, yet seldom are the times by which they will punish you with a proper bite to remember. Seldom is not the same as never. The riff work sometimes DOES deliver stunning moments, - the middle section riffing in the track called The Liars Are Burning is an example, but hell, this sounds more like Pantera grooving than thrashing - but these sequences are rare to find. For the majority of the playtime, you will be subjected to riffs that doubtlessly have a very organic connection with the drums, but they tend to stick to their rigorous comfort zones right after revealing their respective character. Fortunately, the members of Toxic Holocaust have a sharp sense of awareness regarding the lifespan and entertainment value of a given idea, and have no problem whatsoever selling variation for you, without you even noticing you are buying it.

These variations though tend to rely solely on tempo change, and this change in tempo sounds to be regarded by the band as an act that should automatically make you content with what you have been just subjected to. The riffage does not succeed at impressing on a constant and restless basis. Sometimes it devastates, and then again, sometimes it tends to submit to the mere act of the consecutive tempo change, taking the role of a background filler, with some alibi-notes thrown in the riff's fabric here and there, in a desperate attempt at trying to fool you of its own mimicked complexity and cunning. The moods and territories the band does arrive back on after a warp, though always are acceptable, rarely reign stunning enough to rip your mind out nice and clean, - aua - regardless how you want THAT, first and foremost. While the visceral feel of the spin has a ripe understanding and handling of its own dynamics, it exhibits mixed results at finding the spots you want to-, you NEED to revisit. The track Nowhere to run is a peak moment of the album, while the consecutive one, I am Disease sounds to be a mediocre Sad but True clone worth a smile on Christmas eve.

The greatest downside to this album though, is the vocal contribution. Frankly, it is very uneventful and packs only ONE register, and it lacks all sort of playfulness, dark appeal or notable character. A disillusioned, tightened-throat nervous breakdown, the one you hear from your neighbor when his lawnmower gives out on him under this killing sun. Thank you, come again.

Despite the above addressed inconsistencies of this release, and, beyond the disappointing vocal performance, Toxic Holocaust's Conjure and Command still remains a very acceptable and brisk thrash affair, one that gives you a kind of instant thrash that does everything that is needed to be done. But nothing more.

Rating : 6.5 / 10

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