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Two years following Toxic Holocaust's excellent album, Hell On Earth, they decided to take a dive into the pool of retro thrash. Joel Grind has stated a lot of times that the band doesn't go under the label "Retro-Thrash" and try to keep themselves original, but this album is definitely a retro-thrash album. An Overdose Of Death isn't a terrible album just because it's retro thrash, but it actually is an album that stands out in that category. It doesn't sound like a bunch of steeled riffs with lyrics that only talk about partying with some cartoonish cover artwork. It has a lot of originality in it, and is definitely some of the best material from Toxic Holocaust.
There are about three very different things about An Overdose Of Death when being compared to the previous albums. 1) the production quality has sky-rocketed, as if Joel went fifty years into the future and recorded the album using an extremely advanced recording system. 2) Joel got a studio drummer for the album 3) Joel actually produced the album in an actual studio instead of returning to his bedroom alone. This time, he got signed onto Relapse Records and produced An Overdose Of Death in a studio with his studio drummer, Donny Paycheck, and Jack Endino, the producer.
If anyone's heard the previous two Toxic Holocaust albums, anyone can tell that Joel Grind's music is extremely influenced by a lot of hardcore and crust punk bands as well as lots of thrash metal bands. And anyone can tell that his vocals are influenced by lots of black metal musicians. On this album, the punk influences stand out the most, and are most recognizable, especially on songs Wild Dogs, Lord Of The Wasteland, Endless Armageddon, Gravelord, and Death from Above.
The songs Wild Dogs, Gravelord, Endless Armageddon, Nuke The Cross, and In The Name Of Science would be some of the best songs appearing on this album. Every song on the album is extremely catchy, some of them making you automatically headband once you listen to them. The better thing about the songs on the album would be that there's more variety in the song structures, unlike the previous album. This album features songs with different rhythms with different kinds riffs and tempos, which keeps you entertained throughout the whole 36-minute-long album.
Just like the previous albums, there's barely any flaws about the album. I only see one, just ONE flaw: the vocals. Joel's vocals seemed to have turned to complete crap on this album. They sound terrible, and they're nothing like the fierce and vicious black metal vocals that Joel Grind had on all the previous material. The vocals almost sound as if Joel has suddenly turned 70 years old and is trying to growl with an old, raspy voice.
Overall, An Overdose Of Death is one amazing and unique new thrash album and one of the best from Toxic Holocaust. It's a very different album from the previous two, and it proves that Toxic Holocaust never fails no matter how they change. It's another toxic thrash metal record, and Joel Grind knows how to bring on the thrash!