If heavy, relentless, and ass-kicking thrash metal is your preferred poison, you're probably familiar with American act Toxic Holocaust. Since its formation in 1999, this thrash outfit has evolved from Joel Grind's one-man band to a trio of full-time members. Conjure and Command, the fourth full-length effort from Toxic Holocaust, is also their first album with the lineup of Joel Grind (vocals and guitars), Nikki Bellmore (drums), and Phil Gnaast (bass). While not a terribly unique and memorable observation, Conjure and Command is an impressive slab of relentless thrash metal that should satisfy fans of the genre.
Toxic Holocaust plays a brand of thrash metal that, while still containing a few modern tendencies, relies mainly on the foundation set by the more extreme thrash acts of the eighties'. Expect plenty of furious riffs, pummeling drum patterns, and torturous vocals - this is the sort of album that's just perfect to get your blood pressure up! Conjure and Command is a pretty short album that clocks in at just over 32 minutes, but I personally love how quickly the album ends. A short, fast 'punch in the face' is exactly how a thrash album of this caliber should be packaged - and, thankfully, that's exactly how Conjure and Command is released. The raw production leaves plenty of room for gritty guitar tones and earthy drum sounds, and I personally love the way Conjure and Command is produced.
If we're being honest, Conjure and Command hardly brings anything to the table that any thrash veteran hasn't heard dozens of times before. Still, when the quality of the music is this high, it's hard to imagine a fan of thrash metal not having an absolute blast when giving this one a spin. Toxic Holocaust have crafted an album with enough fury-inducing riffage and angst-filled compositions to satisfy most metalheads, and I can confidently say that I'm glad to have heard Conjure and Command. While not the most unique or essential sentiment of modern thrash metal, this is a pretty great album worthy of 3.5 stars.