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Rating:
5.3
Toxic Holocaust - Hell On Earth
31 October 2005


01. Intro
02. Metallic Crucifixion
03. Arise From The Cemetery
04. Send Them To Hell
05. Thrashing Death
06. Burn
07. Death Camp
08. Never Stop The Massacre
09. Time To Die
10. Ready To Fight
11. Hell On Earth


When I first listened to Toxic Holocaust's Hell On Earth, only one phrase came to mind: "lame-ass crap." This album opens mundanely, and wastes 26 minutes trying to decide where to go from there. It breaks no rules, shatters no boundaries, and in the end, leaves no impression. While this is not always a negative quality, Toxic Holocaust falls flat with its sophomore "effort."

At one point, I listened to this album four times in a row, hoping desperately to find something about it that stood out; not one song stuck in my mind. The lyrics are typically brainless thrash cliches ("let's destroy everything and burn it to the ground"), but somehow manage to not be any fun at all. The riffs are afterthoughts, most likely recycled from the forgotten corners of old-school thrashterpieces. Many of the guitar passages would make excellent bridges, or segues into actual songs, but only someone who was desperately strapped for ideas would structure entire musical works around them. Hell On Earth has an annoyingly single-minded approach that could almost betray the fact that it is, in reality, a one-man band. Joel Grind has proven that he can play all of his instruments passably, but this accomplishment is undermined by the two-pronged attack of shoddy production and cringe-worthy vocals.

Hell On Earth has a very thin, uninspired sound that leads me to wonder if it was actually recorded in Grind's basement. That would certainly explain the slightly-muffled drums, but the vocal work is almost inexcusable. I can understand if Grind is not exactly Tim "Ripper" Owens, but he doesn't even shoot for Dave Mustaine. Instead, we are left with faux-black metal retching that sounds like somebody strangling Otep Shamaya. Perhaps this album would be more bearable if Joel could find a decent singer, or at least take that accursed reverb off his voice. Who knows - perhaps a real vocalist lurks underneath those layered effects!

Despite all this criticism, I should stress that Hell On Earth is not a terrible album, it's just… well, it's lame-ass crap. Everything about this album is lacking in some way. The songwriting technique stems from the "all thrash, no music" approach favored by bands like Exodus, but without all the redeeming qualities. Even Illud Divinum Insanus was more interesting; at least that album had never been done before (and hopefully, never will be again). If there is one thing that Toxic Holocaust excels at, it is being generic. This album is unbelievably bland, so if that is how you like your thrash, have at it. In my opinion, Toxic Holocaust could learn a thing or two from fellow modern thrashers such as Gama Bomb or Evile and try to add a little color.

Performance: 7
Songwriting: 4
Originality: 3
Production: 5


Band profile: Toxic Holocaust
Album: Hell On Earth


 


written by ScreamingSteelUS | 22.07.2011


Guest review disclaimer:
This is a guest review, which means it does not necessarily represent the point of view of the MS Staff.



Comments

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Guib - 22.07.2011 at 06:04  
Aww a bit excessive but I get your point. anyways I liked the album.
snake? snaaaake! - 22.07.2011 at 23:15  
I hate this modern rehash of thrash. Most modern thrash offers absolutely nothing, except for a select few bands.

I think the album deserves the criticism the reviewer had given, but I actually don't mind the vocals. I wouldn't say it's a bad album as such, but there are better ways to waste your time.

I'm a massive punk fan. I'd say with Toxic Holocaust there's a definite punk vibe, but these songs are just too mind numbingly boring, generic and simplistic. At times it makes Black Flag seem like virtuosos.
K†ulu - 27.07.2011 at 13:33  
Wow. A really well-written review. Gets the message across very efficiently.
ScreamingSteelUS - 27.07.2011 at 20:37  
Written by K†ulu on 27.07.2011 at 13:33

Wow. A really well-written review. Gets the message across very efficiently.

Well thank you kindly, sir.
listmor - 30.07.2011 at 15:45  
I dont think on a site as comprehensive as this that what in reality is a "bagging" review should be allowed. Unless the reviewer likes the work dont put up the review.

I love the album. Could listen to it 4 times in a row and be feeling blissful.

Whether its old and rehashed is beside the point to anybody who enjoys the work that has been produced.

The review has murdered the album and the reviewer must have been listening to something else cause the "Hell on Earth" I listened to was top notch.
Mr. Doctor - 31.07.2011 at 03:56  
Written by listmor on 30.07.2011 at 15:45

Unless the reviewer likes the work dont put up the review.


Oh please not this argument again.
First: everyone has the right to do a guest review
Second: If you don't like it, make your own.
Third: Guest reviews DO NOT represent this website at all. The staff doesn't even take them that seriously tbh since they do not show up in the front page and they don't contact bands to tell them a guest review has been written for one of their albums.

And last but not least: There's absolutely nothing wrong about writting a review of an album you don't like. How boring it would be if all the reviews here were positive.
listmor - 01.08.2011 at 14:06  
Quote:
Oh please not this argument again.
First: everyone has the right to do a guest review
Second: If you don't like it, make your own.
Third: Guest reviews DO NOT represent this website at all. The staff doesn't even take them that seriously tbh since they do not show up in the front page and they don't contact bands to tell them a guest review has been written for one of their albums.

And last but not least: There's absolutely nothing wrong about writting a review of an album you don't like. How boring it would be if all the reviews here were positive.


Hey all of your points are valid.

I love this site because people advise of what they like and love. That helps me find new bands. However I only check out the positive stuff. A negative review is a dead trail. IMO negative reviews should be consigned to the forums so people can argue if Sabbath is better with or without Ozzy.

Again I apologise if I have rocked the boat.
Mr. Doctor - 01.08.2011 at 15:39  
Written by listmor on 01.08.2011 at 14:06

Again I apologise if I have rocked the boat.


Don't worry, you have a different opinion and that's perfectly fine. This website just gives everyone the right to post their opinion as a review some negative ones serve as an opinion that differs from the common rest and that can be interesting to read if the review si well written, this one is well written imo even if I don't agree with it. Sometimes it's refreshing to see someone post a review with a 7,0 for an album that has like 3 reviews with a 10 XD. It's cool to have other's perspectives.

Except the reviews like the one from the latest Enslaved, that one was just a troll review which the staff kept for the fun factor
Void Eater - 03.08.2011 at 21:43  
Now, we all have the right to our own opinion, but your opinion is wrong. The all-thrash, no music approach is the best way to approach music. Music sucks, but thrash is awesome. This album is so shallow, has no purpose for existence other than to headbang and burn shit, and it's fucking great for that. Just good ol' thrashing death.
Doc Godin - 12.09.2011 at 22:00  
Obviously I disagree with the review...I'm not entirely sure for what reason though...I mean, I might sympathize with your point of view if this was the first time I heard Toxic Holocaust. However, every time I listen to this, I hear the band from albums such as Overdose Of Death and Conjure & Command. Regardless though, the review is really heavy handed, and seems to be approached by someone expecting some neo-classical type thing. It's a punk album at heart, the riffs are simple & aggressive - and intentionally so.

Quote:
Toxic Holocaust could learn a thing or two from fellow modern thrashers such as Gama Bomb or Evile and try to add a little color.

I'm not sure if this is a sarcastic jab or not...Evile is THE definition of generic, flavourless, colourless, carbon-copy thrash revivalist. I really hope Toxic Holocaust doesn't take lessons from Evile, things will end up getting hella generic. I don't mind Evile, but goddamn they really lack identity. As for Gama Bomb, the only thing that separates them from sounding like another generic thrash revivalist act if it wasn't for the god awful inconsistent vocals.

This is a nice little raw punk-thrash-black metal hybrid. Not nearly as good as their later albums, but not nearly as bad as this review makes it out to be.
Moosh666 - 26.02.2012 at 17:26  
Written by Doc Godin on 12.09.2011 at 22:00

Obviously I disagree with the review...I'm not entirely sure for what reason though...I mean, I might sympathize with your point of view if this was the first time I heard Toxic Holocaust. However, every time I listen to this, I hear the band from albums such as Overdose Of Death and Conjure & Command. Regardless though, the review is really heavy handed, and seems to be approached by someone expecting some neo-classical type thing. It's a punk album at heart, the riffs are simple & aggressive - and intentionally so.

Quote:
Toxic Holocaust could learn a thing or two from fellow modern thrashers such as Gama Bomb or Evile and try to add a little color.

I'm not sure if this is a sarcastic jab or not...Evile is THE definition of generic, flavourless, colourless, carbon-copy thrash revivalist. I really hope Toxic Holocaust doesn't take lessons from Evile, things will end up getting hella generic. I don't mind Evile, but goddamn they really lack identity. As for Gama Bomb, the only thing that separates them from sounding like another generic thrash revivalist act if it wasn't for the god awful inconsistent vocals.

This is a nice little raw punk-thrash-black metal hybrid. Not nearly as good as their later albums, but not nearly as bad as this review makes it out to be.


Now see here mister, I admit FST wasn't very original, but Evile have more of an identity than any other of the new Thrash Metal, they've taken something that has been already done, and did it in their own way, Gama Bomb on the other hand, decided to make Thrash, Marijuana, and the Looney Toons have sex several times in different locations, recording each time and producing a new album.....I think that is rather original IMO.
xanimal - 15.11.2013 at 15:59  
You gotta remember one of this guys influences is old school punk. The simplicity is part of the sound. I love this album

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