The froth levels were ridiculously high when the recent news dropped that Mudvayne and Coal …
Melbourne five piece Toxicon step up to the plate with some aggressive thrash and groove metal on Be the Fire & Wish for the Wind.
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At almost an hour long, the self-proclaimed “hybrid metal” quintet have thrown everything they have at this monster, from straight-up groove workouts like (Dis)connect to expansive excursions that show off their more progressive proclivities. How successful they are really depends on the amount of patience one is willing to afford them.
(Dis)connect sets Toxicon up early to be a furious and heavy groove metal band but the album only really gets going into track four, Deletist, where the band add some Gojira-like flourish into the back half. At this point Toxicon becomes a much more progressive band as Husk and The Lost lurch and crush their way across the middle of the album. There’s a lot of material here and Toxicon try their hand at as many different styles as they can.
Vocalist Wayne Clarris is so diverse with his use of varying shades of clean singing, throat-shredding screams and more guttural voices that it sometimes feels as if there’s not only different singers across the album but sometimes on the same song.
Vocalist Wayne Clarris is so diverse with his use of varying shades of clean singing, throat-shredding screams and more guttural voices that it sometimes feels as if there’s not only different singers across the album but sometimes on the same song. While this keeps them interesting, Toxicon also has no clear identity. That doesn’t detract from the songs, each one a feast of savage riffs and mountains of groove with expeditions into off-kilter arrangements, light and shade and some gnarly and expressive lead guitar. The album’s closing tracks Be the Fire and Wish for the Wind tie all of the various elements and moods together; even with this level of diversity, this release still feels just a little too long and perhaps cutting a couple of tracks would have given it a stronger overall impact.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Husk, The Lost, Deletist
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Gojira, Chimaira, The Haunted