Toxik are not only reviving the old school thrash sound, but they are the living and breathing originals from way back when. Originally thrashing in from the mid 80s they rubbed shoulders with all the great and the good contemporaries from the east coast to the west, from doom pioneers Candlemass to the technical teachers Dream Theater, but then called it a day in 92. Spin forward 20 years and they are back and August sees the release of this EP. And mentioning Dream Theater earlier makes me think this is a very technical thrash sound, its tight and clean with Anthrax style vocals, which isn’t a surprise as they are a NYC based band. Opening track of this three-piece EP ‘Stand Up’ is the weaker of the three in my opinion, but the sentiment of throwing off the shackles of modern world slavery, in its widest sense, is a very ‘Thrash’ topic, and one that is very current in deed.
‘Breaking Class’ is riddled with an exciting race between drums and guitars to see who is gonna get to the end first! This tune resonates some DRI elements especially its midway breakdown! The guitar picking after this shakedown is ultra-fast, but in my opinion closing track ‘Psyop’ is the strongest, a wee intro, then multi-layered guitar emulating a call and response in some ways, before setting the pace for a mosh fest of a tune! This has variety, riffs, guitar leads that sometimes take me by surprise – still showing off their technical clout, Toxik have banged their fist on the table and will leave their mark with this self-released EP. Well worth exploring if you are new to this thrash renaissance.
Toxik are supporting their return with a European tour and many live shows to help their cause of reclaiming their place in thrashtory!
Paralysis hail from New Jersey, not far from Toxik, and Josh from Toxik even guested on a previous EP, so there’s brotherly love there. This album will leave you anything but paralysed as from the very start my heart rate has increased, anxieties of expectation are flowing and adrenal juices are ready to flood my body and brain… Oh. My. God… that moshing guitar on set opener ‘Ignorance’ has me sold! And I’m only 2 minutes in!
Paralysis, although from east coast USA, seem to channel some of those 80s European bands like Kreator and Destruction in their blend of thrash along with Slayer-esque solos. Unlike Toxik, Paralysis are a new wave of thrash, allowing following in the footsteps of those that preceded them. Paralysis have slogged it out and toiled many a stage to develop their craftmanship to become tightly suited so much so its as if they have just met and the instruments intuitively understand where the tune is going and respond accordingly.
I love their harsh Kreator-esque vocals. ‘Life Sentence’ just oozes that ‘Storming with Malice’ sneering hatred. The style suits the sentiments across both these releases – as Paralysis say: ‘no more lies, no more bullshit’ – well that’s Election 202 slogan sorted then!
Both these releases are self-released, I like to think that is a statement in itself, so as not to bow to any record label boss man…. Or it may be out of necessity. Either way, the DIY ethos can be found live and well with these two, one band resurrected from over 20 years ago, the other a fresh faced daisy!
This may be due to the advance MP3 copy, but I wish it had more bass to the sound, that is my only criticism of an otherwise classic album, one of the best thrash albums I have heard for a long time.
Album available here, plus those previous Eps: