Melbourne thrashers Toxicon’s album was passed on to me my Sentinel Daily Editor Scott Adams a couple of days ago. ‘You need to listen to something a bit more modern for a change’ he said. ‘I don’t’ was my blunt if well considered reply, but here I am listening to Purge so I guess he was right.
Gratifyingly, the album isn’t too modern sounding. Sure, there are little flecks of Trivium and Bullet For My Valentine in the froth around Purge’s mouth, but for the most part this is good, solid, old-fashioned, at times very British-sounding thrash. And I like it.
For a start, the vocals are far better than the usual death-growl ridden modern thrash record. I’m not sure who provides what vocals where – there are three vocalists credited on the band’s Facebook page and unfortunately no notes as to who sings what accompanied the MP3 files I was passed from HQ – gravel throated bellows are employed for the most part, again giving the whole album a fine eighties veneer, and the cracked melodiousness these voices impart is a real point of difference that Toxicon have that’s worth noting. Songs are pleasingly concise too – only closer Event Horizon is longer than five and three quarter minutes in duration – and each one comes absolutely packed with enough skewed melody to keep the ears busy at all times.
Standout track Immersifier is, strangely enough, one of the more modern sounding tracks on offer, melding a coreish chorus to Teutonic verses in good fashion; Guitarists Paul Jones and Adam Espositi really shine on this track – though their playing throughout is always interesting – the whole thing being the most complete package Toxicon have to offer at this point.
All good stuff then – there really isn’t a weak point that I can detect in any of the album’s eleven tracks – and with tracks like the crushingly weighty Face of the Earth pointing to some real potential lurking around this band as well I’d definitely say that Purge is worth some of your time and money if you’re a fan of twenty first century thrash metal.