Toxic Waltz: Decades of Pain

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Toxic Waltz: Decades of Pain
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Toxic Waltz: Decades of Pain
Thrash Metal
Self-release
January 23rd, 2014
Release length: 38:43
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When it comes to Thrash Metal, Germany is a country that rarely fails us. This is where we go today with the five-piece group Toxic Waltz out of Bavaria. The group formed back in 2009, but doesn’t have much in the way of studio recordings, or even live material to show for themselves at this point. Of course, if you’re up in that neck of the woods, chances are you’re familiar with the name. After years of studio silence, the band has finally crafted what has become their self-released debut full-length album Decades of Pain, which dropped late January of this year. With about five years of time together, have they nurtured their sound to full maturity, or is there still plenty of room to grow?

Right off the bat, Decades of Pain just sounds like a professional high-end production. All the instruments are at just the right level with the guitars are a bit on the blunt side, the bass creates a nice backbone, and the drum kit just sounds fantastic. Even the acoustics that make up the cold, empty “Intro” are crisp enough to set the tone before shifting into the heavier start of “Decades of Pain.” The song carries some Kreator-style authority with deeper growls to the vocals, as well as a hint of Crossover Thrash during the faster areas, such as four minutes and fifteen seconds in. “World of Hate” does have some additional technicality to the chords at times, but for the most part also uses simple chugging riffs that are carried along by the drums. Sadly this is one of the few occasions where the kit’s audio becomes an irritant. While the cymbals sound great, there’s a bigger focus on the one either closest to the mic, or just podded up higher in the studio. This causes the solid rhythm to stick out like a sore thumb and become distracting.

“Priest of Lie” starts with a nice bass-driven introduction with a heavier two-step push from the kicks. The song has some bursts of speed that help build to some enthusiastic rasps, but the hooks during the chorus leave some undesired emptiness that is hard to ignore. That issue does show up on “Obsession to Kill” as well, though nowhere near as bad. This one finds a nice early Sepultura vibe to the main verses. There’s a subtle bit of rage to them laced with a groove that takes in some Death Metal influence without being too intrusive. The higher harsher shouts at the end sound as though Anglo (vocals) is straining a bit compared to the earlier attempt that doesn’t sound as painful. There’s also the grand Heavy Metal riddled guitar solo towards the end that makes not only the perfect conclusion to the song, but the album as well.

Sadly there are a few songs that just aren’t as engaging, and it all starts with “Green.” There is some Crossover influence similar to “Decades of Pain,” but the song itself isn’t as memorable. The lengthy guitar solo is impressive until the very end when it sounds like exhaustion has set in, and most of the riffs are basic chugging that you will catch yourself bobbing your head to, but that’s about it. “Morbid Symphony” carries some authority to the groove filled chugs that is entertaining to hear, but it also finds some emptiness to the slower material to the chorus and bridges that take away from the power of the rather familiar chords in the verses, as well as the technical guitar solo. There’s nothing too noteworthy on this track, nor any other when it comes to new or unique material, but these two simply feel like filler before concluding with a little more power on the aforementioned “Priest of Lie” and “Obsession to Kill.”

Decades of Pain is a solid debut effort from Toxic Waltz, and it’s one that will definitely put you on notice. Sure it has some growing pains on display towards the end, but most of the album sounds rich with commanding atmospheres and performances that their home country is typically known for in the Thrash Metal department. There’s no denying the group’s appreciation for it, making a traditional album for the genre with a voice recognizable enough to stick out among even the legends of the field.

01. Intro – 1:08
02. Decades of Pain – 4:34
03. World of Hate – 5:39
04. Toxic Hell – 4:31
05. Suicide Squad – 5:40
06. Green – 3:37
07. Morbid Symphony – 4:04
08. Priest of Lie – 4:17
09. Obsession to Kill – 5:12
Initial Pressing Score: 8/10

Toxic Waltz
Toxic Waltz

Digital review copy of this release provided by Metalmessage PR.