October 4, 2019 Toxic Holocaust – Primal Future: 2019 (Album Review)
Multi-instrumentalist madman Joel Grind returns with Primal Future: 2019, the latest collection of nuclear fallout under the Toxic Holocaust moniker.
Due out on Friday, October 4th through Toxic Holocaust’s new label, eOne, had the album arrived devoid of packaging or identification, it would have easily found itself shelved alongside the fertile ground from which its inspiration comes: ’80s Thrash Metal deftly mixed with filthy Speed Metal and aggressive Punk Rock. Amidst the thankfully, weakening doldrums of “retroactive” Metal worship, Grind has spent the past twenty years stoking the flames of the original Speed/Thrash sounds. Grind is determined to recreate the fallout anthems of ’80s Thrash Metal, but with a bit of Punk Rock and almost Doom Metal mixed in for ease of listening. Basic mixing techniques notwithstanding, the effortless sound of Grind applying dueling guitar parts and Toxic Holocaust’s fourth album is no exception.
Ten songs in total, the signature guitar work starts as early as the opener “Chemical Warlords.” Then the simple rhythm guitar of “Black Out the Code” is as jarring as the thick lyrical solos layered over top. Thereafter a number of tracks feature winding infectious staccato guitar work, namely the title-track and “New World Beyond,” with the latter adding stretchy bends that wind effortlessly underneath. Elsewhere, “Deafened by the Roar” is a quick number that would fall amongst the succinct punk bravado of a bygone era, while “Iron Cage” harkens back to a certain gas-burning English power trio, with the unique pipes of Grind keeping the song honest and fresh. The caustic march “Controlled by Fear” is punctuated by lyrical verses sung almost devoid of emotion, whereas “Time’s Edge” features some of the fastest and most impressive guitar work.
Later on, a quick punchy bass opens the proceedings of “Aftermath.” The tone is not quite the clanging rebar of Overkill’s D. D. Verni, but the result is an effective detour into the garage of another Thrash Metal influence. Then, in the end, “Cybernetic War” puts a dismal frame on the picture painted by the entire album. In fact, not even the emotive solos can prevent the inevitable demise of humanity at their own hand, and the track itself fades off into a cacophony of doom and destruction.
What impresses further is learning that Primal Future: 2019 was once again recorded by Joel Grind alone. In his earliest days, Toxic Holocaust was a one-man studio act, but fourteen years have passed since 2005’s Hell on Earth, the last album he recorded alone (save a guitar solo on the title-track). The classic influences of Mötörhead, Judas Priest, Megadeth, and Iron Maiden come through with reverential fanfare, but with an original miscibility that keeps the album fresh. That is why Cryptic Rock is pleased to give Primal Future: 2019 3.5 out of 5 stars.