Toxic Holocaust ‘Chemistry Of Consciousness’

Ever wondered what it would feel like to get punched in the guts by a rampant bunny on smack?

That is what I imagine of when someone mentions the band hailing from Portland, Oregon, called Toxic Holocaust.

Naturally when they unleashed their new album Chemistry of Consciousness in October (released by Relapse Records and Pioneer Music) I nabbed the chance to review it.

Let’s do it!


Track one, Awaken the Serpent wastes no time…awakening serpents I suppose, full on chunky riff-age and a fast punk drum beat sets the stage. The vocals quickly join in to give a full on thrash attack to the senses.

Loving the deeper drum sound coming in at 0.37.

Have to say although the main riff is pretty simple it is catchy and that aint no bad thing.

Oooo 2.07, liking that chunky riff change.


Track two is called Silence, though I doubt there will be much of that.

Nope! Off we go again. Another fast, punky beat. The vocals come in straight away this time with some faster riffing.

Just picked out a pretty cool lyric from Joel Grind ‘A nightmare eternal’…Sounds better when you hear him growl it.

A bit of a change here 41 seconds in, a rocking a fuck solo and then straight back into the main riff. Savage! This track emulates the bestiality affair between punk and thrash 100%.


Rat Eater…quite suggestive, is the name of the next track.

Interesting moody instrumental introduction to the track.

AWWW YES! A sweet as fuck drum fill leads to a slow head banging riff, love it!

Loving the atmosphere of this track so far.

A second guitar layers on top to add a truly eery element.

Nice bend!

YAAAS! 1.18 brings on the thrash, immense, pulsing riffs and crushing drum rolls accompany the aggressive vocal style, relentlessly pushing the track forward.

A wee break here at 2.25, waiting for it to come back in with some groove. GOT IT! Fuck me that’s some good groove. The riff extends to add another change and back in again to the thrash beat AND then a solo! Bloody hell I can’t keep up.

Ah there’s the title of the track.


Right track four, Salvation is Waiting.

YEESS. Ooo. My apologise I shall go back and describe what I am hearing.  The track starts off with a fast dirty riff and fast drums, bash your skull in kinda stuff and then hang on for a split second as the guitars tremolo away and then push straight back into a full on groovy beat.

Seeing these guys live would be a head bangers dream.

Offt! 1.08 the layers of guitar riffs here sound are very black metal, with the two discording sounds weaving in and out of each other, interesting. The band’s black metal influence evidenced here.


Deny the Truth is track five.

Offt, the track starts with a groovy head banging riff and Joel’s vocals chanting the track title instantly sucking me into the aggression of the track.

I keep catching phrases of the lyrics, thought provoking stuff mixed with the foot stomping riffage is a great combination.

A slower section for a few second comes in and then the pace doubles 50 seconds in with a higher guitar riff layered on top.

There is so much going on in this track it’s hard to keep up! One minute in the track changes again and pushes forward with a full on thrashy feel.

“What you conceive will manifest in what you believe” I think is what I heard there, very provocative.


Mkultra is the title of the next track. Thought I would research what the word meant and it is apparently a code name for a U.S. government human research project which experimented on the behavioural engineering of humans. Sounds interesting, see you learn something new every day!

The track gradually builds up before powering in with a thrash beat and riffs, then the lyrics “You are now under mind control” can be heard over the wall of noise.

“How much more can you take…how much further can you go”

A slower beat takes over for a few seconds while the lyrics are put to full use getting the tracks message across and then the track powers on to the finish line.


Track nine is titled I Serve.

Starting to feel slightly uninspired now however 20 seconds in a long side Joel scream “I serve death” is pretty good.

The drum beat at 1.15 gives a section of welcomed variety.


International Conspiracy is track ten.

The main riff in this track is catchy but very repetitive.

Not keen on the last slower section of the track though it is well executed.

Chemistry of Consciousness is the last track of the album.

Finally something with a bit of spice in it!

The beginning of the track is a mass of punch you in the face noise which abruptly stops and leaving you to anticipate the next move.

Then it powers forward with a very Death-y riff at 0.26 which links onto a heavier groovy section and then goes onto some more thrash.

Offfft! 0.57 niiiice. That is some serious groove. And again at 1.16.

The section beginning at 1.57 reminds me of Kreator, not a bad thing!

An extended note finishes off the song and the album.



Production and quality of the recording suited the raw atmosphere that Toxic Holocaust produce in their music.

Throughout the album there were moments of groove-acious genius mixed in with repetitive, standard moments.

However if you like it relentlessly fast, with gulp of thrash and a sip of black while you maliciously chop firewood for your log cabin, this album could be for you.


Rating 8 out of 10


Track Listing:

  1. Awaken the Serpent
  2. Rat Eater
  3. I Serve …
  4. Mkultra
  5. Deny the Truth
  6. Acid Fuzz
  7. Out of the Fire
  8. Chemistry of Consciousness
  9. Salvation Is Waiting
  10. Silence
  11. International Conspiracy

Band Lineup:

Joel Grind – Vocals, guitar

Phil Zeller – Bass

Nick Bellmore – Drums


Band Links:

[amazonmp3 asin=”B00G2SO1ZO“]


About Aisha Al-Sadie

Scottish based interviewer and reviewer for PM. Aisha is a fine artist who has created album artwork for various bands including Meads of Asphodel and Towers of Flesh. She is a heavy supporter of the UK underground scene and while she has a varied music taste, she admits it is mostly all about the thrash, black and death metal.