Listen, guys, this opening statement probably isn’t going to be the most logical thing ever said about a Toxic Holocaust album, but Primal Future: 2019‘s biggest issue may just be that it’s stuck in the 1980s. Yeah, I know that love for Reagan era Thrash Metal is the house that Toxic Holocaust has built and resided in since their inception so save your comments. I mean Primal Future: 2019 has more reverence for that decade than Stranger Things, The Goldbergs and Michael J. Fox combined.
I get that it sounds weird and even hypocritical coming from a guy who loves Gunship, Power Trip and the mostly garbage filmography of The Cannon Group (you weren’t a hack, you were just misunderstood, Menahem Golan). Primal Future: 2019 (eOne Heavy) on the page should appeal to me with its airbrush on the side of your uncle’s van artwork and nuclear wasteland hoopla lyrics. And yet, despite some tasty thrash riffs I can’t fully commit to what Joel Grind is slinging.
While speaking on Grind’s presence on the album, he really is whipping out some fierce thrash riffage on ‘Chemical Warlords’ and ‘Black Out the Code’ but unfortunately, his vocals are just a bit too dominant in the mix and tend to get in the way of the shred department. Yes, Sci-Fi and the apocalypse are no doubt capstones from the Speed Metal glory days, but I feel like we’ve already covered those talking points to death on countless other releases. I guess what I’m saying is that through bands like Shadows Fall, Skeletonwitch and Sylosis we know that we can pay homage to the thrash of the forefathers through a modern perspective. Another heavy anchor holding Toxic Holocaust back this time around are numbers like ‘Controlled by Fear’ and ‘Cybernetic War’ that hit with such underwhelming energy that they just end up feeling like placeholders.
For the denim lovers and true defenders of the faith across the land Primal Future: 2019 has prize moments worth cracking a Coors Banquet beer or six but just be ready to slap on the nostalgia goggles. Also, ask your parents about The Cannon Group.
6 / 10