Toxic Holocaust Chemistry of Consciousness

Toxic Holocaust Chemistry of Consciousness

7
The first thing that grabs the listener when diving into thrash-punk metalheads Toxic Holocaust's fifth studio album (amid a plethora of demos, EPs and splits) is the vastness of the sound and the unexpected quality of the production. From the time "Awake The Serpent" slams on, Chemistry of Consciousness rages forward at full blast its entire run time. Fans have come to expect wildly infectious, high energy releases from the group, but what makes this record a better offering than usual in the care taken in the precise tone and texture of the ferocity. There is a bit of burnt circuitry that we haven't heard as much of before, a slight industrial distortion that gives things an inhuman cast that serves the music well. There's also much more of a unified theme; it doesn't quite make it a concept record, but keeps the writing more cogent and coherent. Said theme is one of awakening — to awareness, to responsibility, shaking off some kind of restraint or blindness. Chemistry of Consciousness is characterized by thrashing defiance, a response to a world simultaneously becoming freer but more constrained, lashing out against contradiction. The depth and weight of the sound serve it extremely well —the stomp of "Rat Eater" and the blistering speed and bristling texture of "Acid Fuzz." The titular song ends the record, characterized by a writhing, whiplash intensity. There are many paths to enlightenment and with Chemistry of Consciousness, Toxic Holocaust make it clear they're choosing one of violence and mortification. (Relapse)