Portland thrash / punk metal outfit Toxic Holocaust are back with their latest offering, “Chemistry of Consciousness,” on October 29, 2013 via Relapse Records. As with previous releases, Toxic Holocaust focuses on their riffs and offer plenty of them. The band is akin to a more punk-fueled Slayer or a heavier Exploited. Thrown in a good dose of Motorhead and you have pretty much summed up their sound.
As expected, fast is their one speed and the guitars lead the charge with a gritty, dirty sound. The opening track, Awaken the Serpent is under 2 minutes in length, but packs a quick punch and then exits stage left. Heck, even the longest song on the album, Rat Eater, still comes in at under 4 minutes. Speaking of Rat Eater though, the slow chugging riffs are somewhat different from the rest of the album, but these melodic breaks make this one my favorite track on the album. Believe me, it speeds up eventually as well, but the opening is very nice.
2011’s “Conjure and Command” seemed like a weaker effort to me. It was an okay album, but lacked the punch in the gut that their previous work had. With “Chemistry of Consciousness,” they seemed to have brought that back.
Overall, Toxic Holocaust’s mastermind Joel Grind is up to his old tricks and “Chemistry of Consciousness,” while brief (clocking in at just over 28 minutes), is well worth a listen just to see if you like their sound. Not many bands lay down music this aggressive in this genre and are the better for it. Toxic Holocaust has been doing it for 10 years now and are still holding their own.
Chemistry of Consciousness Track Listing:
01. Awaken the Serpent
03. Rat Eater
04. Salvation is Waiting
05. Out of the Fire
06. Acid Fuzz
07. Deny the Truth
09. I Serve…
10. International Conspiracy
11. Chemistry of Consciousness