November 30, 2011 | , | 4

Toxic Holocaust, Conjure and Command

Toxic Holocaust: Conjure and Command

For the first time in his Toxic Holocaust incarnation, Joel Grind has released full control of his death/thrash project and allowed the vile beast to develop into a full band, complete with, like, other like-minded degenerates. Toxic Holocaust has always been about the thrash and nothing but the thrash. With the band’s latest full-length release, Conjure and Command, Grind and company have created a venomous blast of blackened death/thrash with elements of crossover that have a more fleshed-out overall feel. This may not be the most devastating album in Grind’s discography, but it’s certainly the most cohesive album to date.

“Judgement Awaits You” gets things started, stomping on the thrash gas pedal with little regard for your well being. Early Slayer-like riffs and an overall vibe that reminds me of Demericous’ initial releases greets the listener with vehemence. The production is rough and scratchy, fitting the aggressive, pummeling music to a tee. Joel Grind’s sneering, raspy shouts and growls spit his lyrics at you with full-on disdain. “Agony of the Damned” slows things down a bit with a full, powerful sound and slick guitar work as it settles into a pile-driving rampage. “Bitch” is probably the catchiest track on the album (if you could call anything these guys put out catchy, that is) as it delivers a D-beat influenced rhythm and crushing riffage.

“Red Winter” carries on with a barrage of riffs as “I am Disease” and “In the Depths (of Your Mind)” deliver the goods for you bastards craving a retro-thrash injection. These two songs remind me why I listen to this kind of mayhem. They’re just too damn much fun to even try and break-down or dissect. I just want to throw this album on as loud as I can humanly take and beat the shit out of anything in a five foot radius of my personal, one-man circle pit. “Revelations” is a furious assault on your aural synapses that carries the retro-thrash flag high with ragged vocals, driving riffs and maniacal drum work.

All in all, Conjure and Command is probably Toxic Holocaust’s most accessible album. It’s got a more solid song structure and more thought out direction per track. It may just be a coincidence, but I think by releasing the reigns of this music beast just a bit and allowing others to inject some of their own influences, Grind has found that missing link that I think his earlier material was lacking. If you’re a retro-thrash fiend, you need this album. If you’re just a fan of metal in general, you still need this album. What are you waiting for?