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Toxic Trap - Blood to Water - 92%

Edmund Sackbauer, January 14th, 2020
Written based on this version: 2019, CD, Independent (Limited edition)

One-man-bands and projects are a trend right now and thanks to most technical possibilities being available to everyone these days there are some real gems among them. Toxic Trap started as a traditional band but in the end only Christian remained and recorded the second full length “Blood to Water” all by his own. I am deeply impressed by the end result and how one person is able to write and create such a captivating and energetic piece of thrash metal.

Like it is the case with more or less each metal genre having its origins way back in the eighties there is little room left for innovation. There is a reason why some bands made big waves back then and have gained a lot of followers over the past decades. Christian is clever enough to pay tribute to some of the big names and chose a quite conservative approach of taking all the well-known single pieces putting them back together and enhancing them with a little bit of his own DNA to create something that sounds familiar but fresh at the same time.

At times the main riffs are sounding a little bit quirky yet highly addicting. The basic arrangements are twisted and slightly varied to keep things fresh and interesting. Themes are repeated at later stages and the lead harmonies often work as accompaniment for the soaring main chords. The soloing is especially impressive and often smaller melodic interludes are used as links between various parts of one single song. The crunchy chords are pitched against sometimes slightly proggy main themes forming a fantastic partnership and making the guitar playing the highlight of the record.

Christian has written some great and memorable hooks and most tracks are real winners. He also has a rough and perfectly fitting voice for this kind of music. Each word of the lyrics can be perfectly understood and he exactly knows when to slightly take out a bit of aggression. His delivery is fitting the instrumentation like a glove.

The production is powerful and has enough grit and dirt to satisfy any fan of old school thrash metal. The guitars sound crunchy and thick without being mixed too much into the forefront and the drums have a natural yet powerful feel. Compared to their earlier work there has been a huge jump in quality on “Blood to Water”. Coming with a traditional cover artwork this is an album that fans of the genre should check out.