Toxic Holocaust released their newest album Primal Future: 2019 on October 4, 2019 via Entertainment One. The Portland, OR band has been influential in the metal scene since 1999 when Joel Grind decided he would live out his punkish-thrash metal dream. Since then, it’s taken the metal community by storm.
I especially enjoyed the second half of this album, and I can definitely see what the hype was about. While listening through Primal Future: 2019, it took me back to some 80’s thrashy metal I listened to in my childhood and the underground metal shows I’ve been to in my area, and I loved going down memory lane. The vocals are soft but gravely, and the articulation of words and vocal tones were very on point with the atmosphere of the album. The overall theme to this album is really interesting to me too since I dig the sci-fi horror/metal genre. They ended the album great, and I honestly thoroughly enjoyed listening to it.
The alternating instruments at the beginning of “Chemical Warlords” sounds very 80’s thrash metal. Towards the end of the song there was a change in direction that is very upbeat and catchy. It fades out to the end of the song. That was a really excellent part of the whole album for me. “Black Out the Code” is immediately thrashy, with the guitar taking the lead throughout. The “theatrical” part sounded really mysterious to me, and I had different visuals of what was happening. The stimulation was enthralling, like eagerly awaiting what’s next in a play. The guitar solo sounded great and was exciting to listen to. I had a lot of flashbacks of listening to old school Metallica during this song.“New World Beyond”’s intro has unique sound effects before charging in with cool riffs. The song is heavily riff-focused with cool licks sprinkled throughout, which is quite honestly my favorite kind of metal to headbang to. The break down is intense and heavy, and it beautifully had different musical pieces piled on top each other every so many measures. I really enjoy the writing on this album. It’s a good mixture of Iron Maiden and Judas Priest sounding music. “Time’s Edge” has a really cool beginning with drowning/spinning effect and chugging instrumentals. The song is transitional between the verses, choruses, and other parts without skipping a beat. I also really enjoyed the guitar solo.
This paragraph features all my favorites on the album. “Primal Future” was my favorite track of the whole album. The intro was eerie and kicks ass, the guitar kicks ass, and the rest of the song kicks ass. They’re coming out with all guns blazing in the primal future. The melody is almost hypnotic, relentlessly pounding throughout. “Iron Cage” starts off with a mosh pit in my mind as the band thrashes on ahead. This one was also really fun to listen to and I think would be entertaining to see live. Mid-point of “Iron Cage” there was a really fun music change that helped slow it down but highlighted the main melody. “Aftermath” introduces a heavy, face-melting bass intro that was exceptional. I love how the band goes thundering into the song, and the long breaks they give to really develop a really juicy rhythm. This is another favorite of mine for that reason. I usually hate when the best parts of a song are different and really short, so this was a TREAT. We closed off with “Cybernetic War”, which has some good, simple-yet-heavy melodies that are, to me, reminiscent of underground 80’s thrash metal. The element near the end of the song was mysterious and went along with the theme so well.