Toxic Holocaust | Primal Future: 2019 | Album Review

eOne Music
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The 80s are often praised by music fans of all genres for being an iconic decade for music. One of the lesser-known but biggest explosions of the 80s was thrash metal. Bands like Slayer, Anthrax, and Testament were blaring their way into the metal scene with fast-paced drums, loud riffs, and aggressive clear vocals. Eighties’ thrash is arguably one of the biggest influences on the metal genre and music scene as a whole. 

A perfect example of the influence is a newer thrash band Toxic Holocaust. While all of their discography is as thrash as one can get,  their newest album, Primal Future: 2019, has the biggest 80’s thrash sound that mixes decently with their usual neo-thrash aesthetic. Right off the bat, the listener knows it’s going to be an old-school, yet modern/futuristic-thrash sound thanks to the album cover. 

The design has an obvious retro theme to it, accentuated by bright colors like lime green and magenta. But it’s heavily over-toned with a futuristic style, with the cyborg and city background on the cover. The cover reminds listeners of a futuristic Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, and the album does not disappoint. The first song,  “Chemical Warlords,” kicks off the album with futuristic lyrics and a steady guitar riff. “It hits like a storm / cerebral mutations / ascension achieved with atomic machines / seeking injustice,” is the very first verse of the song, preparing listeners for a futuristic dystopian theme. 

The riffs and vocals, however, have a strong resemblance to 80’s-style thrash. Exodus’ classic album Bonded By Blood comes to mind. This style and sound continues throughout the entire album, and it ends with a bang, as listeners are thrown into a dystopian sci-fi world thanks to the song “Cybernetic War.”

This short and sweet album has a pretty consistent sound and theme, but Toxic Holocaust keeps it exciting with their story-telling lyrics and aggressive guitar riffs and drum patterns. Overall, this album is a perfect mix of futuristic and retro thrash metal, and is a hit for the majority of the heavy metal community.

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