Joel Grind is a Metal lifer if there ever was one. With a rebellious innately predatory sense for expression through monster riffs. It has now been twenty years since perpetuating Toxic Holocaust and Grind is just getting warmed up. In fact, the way Primal Future: 2019 plays, it could mark a significant peak in the band’s already prodigious repertoire, a voluminous crypt full of Thrash anthems that have incited pits across the world. The new album is simply a mission statement, one that intends to nuke everyone in the way until Toxic Holocaust are standing proudly atop the crescent of victory.
The secret sauce to Toxic Holocaust’s recipe for a Thrash/Crossover masterpiece is truly capturing the vibe of those early 1980s recordings. This was a scene that literally changed Metal forever and it is a requirement certainly that the rumble and scream of the lexicon be maintained. That isn’t to say the band intends on producing less than high fidelity recordings; rather, the equalization of the band and guitar tone are perfectly dialed in to create the atmosphere. When supplying crucial riffs to this recording, its scope widens exponentially.
It would do well to introduce the material by first taking a closer look at the guitar tone. It is heavy indeed in that classic Marshall-on-eleven era of hot-rodded JCM 800s and 900s, the powerhouse amp that supplied 1980s guitar tone to everyone from Judas Priest to Slayer. Adding just enough gain and a bit of eq, the razor-sharp tone is born. The tone is shaped around the articulation of the riffs after all. Also, the guitar is captured with due reverence to a combination of D.R.I. and Venom influenced tones. The end result is a monster tone in which all the riffs with their myriad syncopation are heard correctly by the listener.
This is an album to throw on when slamming beers. It is pure, adrenalized, energetic mayhem designed to blow speakers and cause major property damage. “Chemical Warlords” kicks things off and it really takes off after the two-minute mark. The band unleash a nasty breakdown that sets things up for a killer solo full of the vicious spirit of the song. The following track, “Black Out Code,” maintains the vibe of the first track with a Thrash intensity that manages to break new ground while paying ample respect for those who paved the way.
There are plenty of dirty breakdowns throughout the album. One of the most outstanding is in the latter half of the third track, “New World Beyond”. It is literally one of those riffs that was made to resuscitate the pit and churn things up. Digging deeper, the title track and sixth overall has a swagger a bit like old school Megadeth. It is based on mostly a mid-paced groove and is definitely a headbanging anthem. These really are the riffs we imagined our heroes from back in the day be writing, adhering to that staunch principle of trailblazing through old school Heavy Metal. The classic Metal vibe is even more deeply involved with the following track, “Iron Cage”. The song is an electric driving force, absolutely on fire and consumer the listener on its radiating flames.
Thrash Metal and Crossover is a personal favorite section of Heavy Metal at large. Toxic Holocaust, namely Joel Grind, is a lifetime adherent to the code of playing legit, lethal, and lawless Heavy Metal. Primal Future: 2019 is a relentless listen that provides a truly top-shelf Thrash Metal experience.