Six years after Chemistry of Consciousness, Joel Grind and his TOXIC HOLOCAUST return with a new offering in the form of Primal Future: 2019, out now via eOne Music. For those of us who loved the last record, this was a long wait. Remember, A&GS was barely six months old when the band fell into our laps around the same time SKELETONWITCH did. As a matter of fact, I reviewed both of those records on a Saturday night in between bursts of my power going out. Ahhhhh, living in Texas. Well, here we are in 2019, now in Philly, and no longer being at the mercy of the weather. So after all this time, is the album any good?
In a word, YIS! Those of you looking for anything new or innovative can just leave right now. It is what it is. Thrash Metal with doses of punk and Speed Metal added for good measure. The sound is very lo-fi, and that’s by design. After recording the last two records with a band Grind decided to do this one all by himself once again. And that is by no means a bad thing. Album opener and first single “Chemical Warlords” sounds very much like something you’d hear coming off of someone’s record player in 1986, one of its endearing qualities. It’s loud, it’s fast, and it’s primitive, all qualities you should be expecting.
“Black Out the Code” and “Deafened By the Roar” are an exercise in speed, while “Primal Future” is more like an advancing horde moving on an unsuspecting village at the bottom of a hill. “Time’s Edge” has one of the record’s best intros and when it takes off, Lord-a mercy, get ready to bang that head of yours! Meanwhile “New World Beyond’ is a straight-up rallying cry to attack, attack those who oppose us. “Iron Cage” is another speedster, and “Controlled By Fear” is an absolute riff machine from start to finish. Grind sounds almost maniacal on this one. “Aftermath” is yet another buzzsaw riff fest designed for wrecking necks. .
Closing us out is “Cybernetic War,” a track I wasn’t sure what to think of at first listen. It’s a bit different from the rest of the record, and quite frankly the sound is thicker. But it is still undeniably TOXIC HOLOCAUST, which is a good thing. All told Primal Future: 2019 is a great disc, and a worthy follow-up to its predecessor from 2013. I just hope that we can get a headlining show from Joel and Co. in one of our great clubs here in Philly sometime in 2020, and that we don’t have to wait so long for the next record. For now, let’s just all play the shit out of this one, yeah??
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Aftermath”, “Controlled By Fear”, “Time’s Edge”, “Primal Future”, “Black Out the Code”