Since the new Toxic Holocaust album is coming out soon, I thought I'd check out the lead single. This was a mistake. Misery loves company, so I convinced Noktorn to sacrifice 3 minutes and 46 seconds of his life by listening to it too. Our discussion follows:
N: God that was horrible. And why is it the single? People want fast, dumb, raw shit from Toxic Holocaust, not pussed-out early Metallica stuff.
P: Yeah, I was shocked. It just plods along, being a thrash metal song. It's like Joel actively decided to scrap what set Toxic Holocaust apart... He's traded in Road Warrior metalpunk for straight up retro-thrash.
N: And even compared to that garbage scene, it's pretty bad. So is this an attempt to sell out or what...
P: Word. You could tell he was edging towards accessibility with the last album, but in a way that made sense for the band... Toxic Holocaust has always been kinda poppy, and on An Overdose of Death he was able to create some seriously catchy shit without losing the retardo speedfreak vibe. This new track is the opposite: devoid of hooks AND attitude.
N: It's completely phoned-in. It's obvious that he doesn't give a shit anymore. Anyone can listen to this and realize it's pointless and half-assed. I bet Relapse is regretting that 3-album contract now!
P: And as we asked of Morbid Angel, WHO are they attempting to sell out to???
N: It's not dramatic enough to draw in Hot Topic kids or anything.
P: Right...there are a host of other shiny plastic thrash bands offering much more compelling teenage kicks. It's almost like Toxic Holocaust is trying to attract those kids' dads!
N: Yeah, there's certainly a ton of boring rock influence here. When established metal bands turn to rock, they just get sluggish and old.
P: That's a good way of putting it... this dude is still in his prime metal years, but he sounds old.
N: I mean, look at the guy, he's fucking soft.
P: Last time I looked he had baby-fat. Which means he has NOT been doing enough coke and speed to make this kind of music. Perhaps that explains the slow song...
N: I bet he calls his mom every Saturday and has a really lame day job.
P: Heh, I like that image! Perhaps an IT guy at a small business. Or, better: frustrated manager at a yuppie restaurant. "Hey, team, I don't wanna come down on you guys but I kinda need to see those dishes getting washed faster..."
N: "Hey, uh, Ben, could you stop texting your girlfriend and get that coffee to the couple at table 3 before it gets cold? Oh, you can't? Well, ok I guess..."
P: Haaa! Anyway, it also pisses me off that he's admitted War Ripper was his side project, and put that E.P. up for sale on iTunes. I dunno why anyone would ever use iTunes, but now that War Ripper has been officially stamped with the Toxic Holocaust brand it's gonna sell pretty well. This reeks of a quick and easy cash grab, just like the new single.
N: I have no idea what War Ripper is.
P: Kinda cool crust punk stuff, but basically just a statement. Not worth listening to if you haven't already.
P: Well, it does now.