Toxic Holocaust: An Overdose of Death (Relapse)
An Overdose of Death, the third full-length and Relapse Records debut by Seattle’s Toxic Holocaust, is a full-on assault of thrash-metal anthems and balls-to-the-wall punk-rock attitude. Recorded by Jack Endino (Nirvana, High On Fire), An Overdose… is equally appropriate for a futuristic bout of zombie slaying or to bring home with you to piss the hell out of your neighbors.
Led by Joel Grind, Toxic Holocaust has primarily been run as a one-man band since its inception in Baltimore in 1999. Grind chooses to hire out for touring musicians and session drummers rather than work with a full-time band due to disparities in lifestyle and musical vision.
Thankfully, he’s found a kindred spirit in former Zeke drummer Donny Paycheck, who joins him for the first time on An Overdose of Death. Paycheck’s face-peeling punk/metal drum style is a fitting complement to Grind’s growling vocals and raging guitar riffs.
Fist-pumping sing-along choruses on tracks such as “War is Hell” (read: “War is fucking hell!”) and “Feedback, Blood, and Distortion” add to the good time. Grind’s lyrics on the aforementioned songs, as well as others on the album (“Nuke the Cross,” anyone?), may be tongue-in-cheek, but the music is never presented in a way that is watered down or meant to be ironic.
It’s aggressive, it’s heavy, and most of all, it’s fun.
– Jamie Ludwig