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Toxic Holocaust were one of the first new wave of thrash bands which proves that they aren't just playing it because it's popular, so they definitely have my respect. I am a HUGE fan of Evil Never Dies and Hell on Earth, very solid blackened thrash. So, the first song I heard by them was quite obviously Nuke the Cross and I still to this day think it's a fucking great song. But, the first full Toxic Holocaust album I heard was Evil Never Dies and I absolutely loved it. Then, I heard Hell on Earth and thought it was another great record, at this point I thought these guys were the best new thrash band around and then... I heard the rest of this album. I still think this is a good record, don't get me wrong but it's got too many flaws for me to call it anymore than average.
I'll talk about the good things first, the songs on here are undeniably catchy. They grab your attention immediately because it seems almost every song has a catchy lyric that stands out more than the others. The songs are very short so you don't get bored quickly even though the songs are quite repetitive. The vocals are pretty awesome as well. Rocky, gravel throated black metal vocals. But, they do have a death/thrash aspect to them which makes them even more killer. The drums are good too, Donny is a very punky drummer which adds a huge punk feel to this album, something some new thrash bands lack nowadays. So basically, this album is speed, thrash, black, death and punk all added into one... sounds fucking amazing doesn't it? Not as much as you'd think. Listen to Evil never Dies if you want to hear it done amazingly.
And now for the bad. The songwriting is extremely repetitive. Each song has no more than 2 - 4 riffs and thrash is something that needs the fucking riffs! You can barely hear the bass but I don't think that mattered to Joel while recording because he already stood out on the vocals and the guitar. The lyrics are cool, I love lyrics based on anti-religion, killing, apocalypse and war but sometimes you have to mix it up a bit. If you don't quite understand take a look at the song titles. War Game, War is Hell, March from Hell. This isn't a major flaw but it is something that could be fixed. I never liked the production here either, I never knew why but Toxic Holocaust are one of the very few bands who don't sound as awesome with crystal clear production. I really missed the raw production of the first two albums. Something that also irritated me is the riff in The Lord of the Wasteland is almost the EXACT same riff as in Necromansy by Bathory. I don't know if they did it on purpose or it was a tribute of some sort since I know Joel is a huge Bathory fan and they really inspired Toxic Holocaust but hell, it annoyed me when I noticed that. Another thing that I didn't like was the re-recorded version of War is Hell. This is still one of their best songs and this version is still awesome but it definitely doesn't live up to the first version.
To sum this album up, it's thrash metal, it's black metal, it's speed metal and it's punk all blended into one genre. Though, it isn't done that well (as I said, listen to Evil Never Dies) this is still a good album just nothing over average. This album is right at the point where i'd say the album is still worth buying.
Best tracks -
Nuke the Cross
War is Hell (though the original is much better)
Weakest tracks -
In the Name of Science
March from Hell