Monday, June 9, 2014

Toxic Waltz - Decades of Pain

Germany's Toxic Waltz are a rather new band, forming in 2009 and releasing this debut just this past January called Decades of Pain. Of course any one well versed in classic thrash metal would know this band has named itself after a well known thrash song by classic Bay Area thrashers Exodus. What we have here is another band that would probably get lumped into the retro thrash tag but that would not be wholly accurate. This band has it's own identity and it's quite interesting. Their sound is nothing like Bay Area thrash so that sets them apart from their name, which is a plus in my book. The music is thrashy, technical, rockin', and epic at the same time. But quite entertaining.

What's going on here is a metal band that throws in melodic thrash with an epic metal twist and a punk vibe. That's a tall order for that kind of combination but this band seems to be able to pull it off most of the time. Their thrash riffs are really good and keep you headbanging while the traditional metal riffs keep it melodic. The punk vibe shows up mostly in the vocal delivery and with some of the riffing involved when there are vocals. Songs like the title track and "Toxic Hell" open up with a bit of an epic traditional metal feel only to kick in with some fast riffing and a seriously gruff vocal approach by vocalist Angelo. He is almost proto-death metal in a way. It gives the music a hint of aggression that offsets the melody to make for an interesting sound. The guitar work on the riffing and the solos is really good. The solos are what would be expected and could have been a bit more creative but they do the job fine.

The traditional metal sounds are usually utilized in the beginning of the song and then builds up to this massive riff fest. They do this formula well, I just want them to be careful not to be a one trick pony or turn into a band like Iced Earth who does one formula only. The songs on this album are strong and well written even if they tend not to deviate from the formula. "Green" is a heavy as fuck song that is a bit different than the rest and really shows this band can rely on killer riffs to make a kick ass song. "Obsession to Kill" is one of the songs on this album that just slays as it is heavy as fuck but has some decent melodies in there to make things interesting. "Morbid Symphony" starts off with a groove metal moment before bursting into thrash riffing and it's on this song that it hits me that the drum sound, especially the snare, is annoying as fuck in some places. The production is not so bad on anything else but those drums. I hope next time they can pull back on the triggering a little. This type of music sounds better without all the tricks.

This is a very young band and this is their debut album. It's actually a very good album that has a few minor flaws that could happen to any young band. As they mature, this band could bring something interesting to the table. The talent is there, let's see what they do with it. They know how to write good catchy riffs and their songs are good. I'm interested in what they're going to do next.

Special thanks to Markus Eck from for the digital promo.


No comments: