Toxic Bonkers Progress

Harnessing the spirit of any Napalm Death line-up that doesn’t quite hit the blast beats, this Polish band (I’m guessing but last names such as Przybylak and Klimaszewski make me feel pretty safe) continue the fine Selfmadegod tradition of releasing quality extreme metal. Unlike label-mates Drugs of Faith, this one isn’t balls-out grind, and unlike ex-label-mates Antigama, Toxic Bonkers (ugh) don’t bend all the rules all the time. Instead, it’s wonderfully straight-up death metal with a punk rock edge, bringing to mind mid-tempo to speedy Napalm Death while only hopping over to blurry grindcore territory once in a while. And when they do, as on "Denial,” you can tell they’re damn good at it, controlling the chaos before crawling back into a mid-tempo groove, with that track in particular having clean vocals to boot. The obtrusive keyboards in "Geophobia” distract but that’s really the only downfall of the disc. The album as a whole really has no standout tracks or moments to speak of, just as none of the musicians are incredibly noteworthy at what they do. However, it all comes together just right, creating one hell of a satisfying disc. (Selfmadegod) (Selfmadegod)