US thrash exponents Toxik originally burned brightly at the arse end of the eighties, bringing out a couple of albums, World Circus and Think This in 1987 and 1989 respectively. And though they got a fair amount of exposure both in metal magazines and on the road in support of such venerable thrash names as Exodus and Testament, not to mention Pantera, they never really seemed to capture the imagination of the wider thrash public, despite releasing some rather stonking music.

So, they’re back now, led of course by founder member/axepert extraordinaire Josh Christian who is joined for this lively three tracker by returning vocalist Charles Sabin, whose work on Think This was particularly sterling.

It’s pretty sterling here, too, though Sabin doesn’t stamp his authority on the material in any major way. The spotlight is mainly on the superb fretwork of Christian and some fiercely melodic songwriting, especially on the title track which is, it has to be said, quite monstrous – stinging yet insanely melodic thrash of the highest order, it’s one of the best in show this year so far…

Perhaps the best thing of all is that the Toxik of 2017 appear to be the real deal on the evidence of this little amuse-bouche. Where they once fired the odd blank, all guns are blazing now, and I look forward to hearing a full-length release from the band. Well worth a listen.

Toxik will release Breaking Class on August 4th.