Anyone who knows me, knows that of all the metal genres that exist, the one I love the most is thrash, so when a thrash album landed in my inbox to review, I was all too excited to get it reviewed.
The offering was from Portuguese “fearless, taunting, leather-jacket wearing and maniacal” quintet, Toxikull, and they certainly play their metal HEAVY and FAST!
Formed in Cascais, Portugal, in 2016, the band is fronted by brothers Lex Thunder and Michael Blade and they are one of the most promising European underground bands when it comes to heavy/speed/thrash, displaying all the qualities of the genre; impressive vocals, a tight rhythm section, blazing guitar solos and carefully crafted melodies.
The band issued a full-length album “Black Sheep” in 2016 and this EP is their second release, and what an EP it is! At first listen, if I am honest, I didn’t really like it, but I persevered with it, giving it a few more go’s, and I am so glad I did, otherwise I would have missed a gem of an EP.
Say frontman Lex of the EP; “It’s an appeal to rebellion and some social criticism. Music wise this EP is a bit different from Black Sheep, it’s faster, stronger and more aggressive. The influences of the music from the past are also a bit different, this one’s more on the speed/heavy metal side.”
In truth, it is a “relentless, sonic attack” that just doesn’t give up from start to finish and combines some of the best elements that made heavy, speed and thrash metal so popular. Despite only coming into existence in 2016, these guys have a sound like they are straight from the mid 80’s, taking you on a journey back to the time of bands such as Exciter, Agent Steel and Razor.
The EP is just over twenty-five minutes long and, along with five original recordings, it features a cover of rock and roll royalty Axl Rose’s early band Hollywood Rose’s song “Rocker.” Says Lex; “I always thought it was a killer tune, living off the spirit of rock and roll. Unfortunately, this brilliant song never got a proper recording, so we took the chance and did it ourselves, and recorded it the way we wanted it to sound.”
The cover work is painted by Italian artist Velio Josto and the art meets the bands idea of “something pure, actually painted in ink and without any digital effects.”
All in all, this is a fantastic EP, and although I haven’t actually listened to the first album, I will make it my job to do just that. The vocals are out of this world, the guy hits every note and scream without any trouble, and the guitar solos are awesome. The rhythm section is tight and concise, and the production is great. It’s a little bit longer than what I would consider an EP but, due to the intensity and energy that comes from it, I think its actually the perfect length.
So, if you fancy a trip back to the 80’s, put on your leather jacket and go and get yourself a copy of this EP. You’ll be transported back in no time!!
Surrender Or Die
Freedom To Kill
Satan Bloody Satan
Rocker (Hollywood Rose Cover)
First published on Ever Metal