The members of Portland's Toxic Holocaust can send a bit of a mixed message when they first come out on stage, because frontman Joel Grind looks like he walked right out of Los Angeles circa 1985. As soon as he and the rest of the band start playing, though, it's pretty obvious that they haven't exactly been influenced by guys who spent too much time putting on makeup before hitting the stage. Grind started Toxic Holocaust as a solo project about ten years ago, eventually turning it into a full-fledged band. A mixture of Celtic Frost's and Venom's darkly aggressive sound with a backbone of hardcore's furious energy, this trio has a refreshingly palpable presence. Last year's Conjure and Command, the band's first fully collaborative effort, comes off like Slayer. If names are a promise, this is one that delivers.
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