Some bands attempt to secure the ‘old school’ label and the street cred that follows it with varying forms of metal mimicry. They are always easy to spot, usually because they are trying too hard to be something they are not. Then there are the bands that simply pick up their instruments, thrash away and with little to no effort seethe the essence of Metal’s days of yore. One such band is Toxic Holocaust.
Portland’s Toxic Holocaust has made a living off taking everything grand and glorious about 80’s thrash and first wave black metal and combining it with the kind of pissed off punk rock that would eventually give birth to today’s modern crust/d-beat scene. If Venom and Broken Bones had a love child, Toxic Holocaust would be the bastard twin that ate its weaker sibling in the womb. With the backing of powerhouse label Relapse Records, Toxic Holocaust have become one of the premier extreme metal bands in the world. Their brand of crusty, blackened thrash is the type of music that scares off the poseurs after only a few minutes of play. Have a friend who doesn’t like this band but claims to like metal? Check their credentials. You may be hanging out with a ‘False’.
While fans all patiently wait for their newest opus the band has decided to grace us with a 22 track compilation album, entitled, From the Ashes of Nuclear Destruction. The album consists of tracks previously released on various comps and vinyl only releases (including their now infamous split with Municipal Waste). It also includes demo versions of some classic tracks. So why should we care about a comp album? Good question, because most comp albums are a money grab or the proverbial ‘contractual obligation’ album. Not in this case. Most of what you have on here are songs that are either long out of print or versions that differ enough from the originals that they are worth owning on their own. Well done comp albums like this one usually serve two purposes: 1) They are a nice CD compendium for the hardcore fans or 2) they can serve as an intro for people just discovering the band. In the case of this band and this album it works for both. A must own for the hardcore fans and newbs alike.
Speaking of killer bands from back in the Metal Days of Olde, one band that is criminally underrated is Germany’s Warlock. Not only were they one of the preeminent traditional metal bands of the early 80’s but they were fronted by one of the first female singers, Doro Pesch. The trail that she helped blaze for women in metal is a long and fascinating one. But Warlock stood out, not just because of their front woman, but because of killer material. Check out their second album, and major label debut in Europe, Hellbound.