Music Reviews — 13 February 2012
Toxic Holocaust At Europa: A LocalBozo.com Concert Review

Toxic Holocaust
Europa, Brooklyn, NY
February 12th, 2012

Blog: Toxic Holocaust At Europa

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Sunday night, Greenpoint, Brooklyn was dangerously close to falling off the face of the Earth resulting from an overdose of rock. It was a frigid evening and the doors opened way after the indicated time- but hey, this is metal in Brooklyn so who cares? The bill of the tour titled, “Forward into Battle” featured a cross section of punk and metal. The co-headlining bill paird hard rocking veterans, English Dogs and hometown New Yorker punkers, The Causalities who dominated the stage during their time slot. Yet on this arctic night, we were at Europa for two bands who embody the new wave of thrash metal like none other HAVOK and Toxic Holocaust.

Thrash metal is eminating from once unheard of parts of America these days. And Denver, Colorado’s HAVOK are proving that these once unchartered territories are producing some of the best metal music of today. I discovered HAVOK only a short while ago through their latest release, ‘Time Is Up.’ The band took the stage to a nice amount of fanfare, with many members of the crowd rocking HAVOK shirts. Their tight yet short set was loaded with brutal machine gun style thrash. Little time was spent on banter, with some brief song intros coming from lead singer David Sanchez. The crowd went nuts for tunes like, ‘Fatal Intervention’ and the anti-drunk driving song, ‘D.O.A.’

It’s no surprise that the LocalBozo crew are longtime supporters of the guys of Toxic Holocaust. Portland, Oregon native Joel Grind has built a metal machine which seamlessly encapsulates thrash, death, and punk. At one Grind stood alone as the sole ‘Toxic’ member, but with the release of “Conjure and Command,” the band who once used various players is now a full time unit. With the talents of bassist, Phil Zeller and Nick Bellmore on drums, the band ripped out the first licks of ‘Wild Dogs,’ at which point everyone in the house reached a collaborative mad frenzy of metal.

Toxic Holocaust’s set was a perfect blend of their past albums and current works. Fists were raised high as Grind belted out ‘Nuke the Cross,’ a blistering headbanging favorite. Grind and Zeller were on the same page throughout the entire set, blending lead guitar and bass riffs to create a powerhouse wall of sound. The crowd was put into a fury as the band charged through face melters like, ’666′ and ‘The Lord of the Wasteland.’ Throughout the show, massive moshpits and stage divers who often grabbed them mic to sing along, gave the band that extra charge needed to take the set over the cliff and make it truly memorable. Joel and the boys finished up their extremely satisfying set with ‘Bitch’ a killer tune.

Although each of the bands who played were vastly different, they all shared one thing- fan appreciation. This was a true blue, metal meets punk show. Throughout the night, a massive circle pit created a large amount of energy both on the floor and on the stage. Getting up on the stage, and jumping off with no security to pull oneself off at the same time refreshing and dangerous. The only person to get you off the stage was a band member themselves, often with a elbow punch or a helpful push off the stage. Other fans were just happy banging their heads along to the riffs. Any way you embraced the music was the right way on a freezing night in the county of Kings.

- Jay Rubin

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